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Parsha Poem ~ Shemini

Parsha Poem ~ Shemini

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 Parshat Shemini

  By Chana Engel

  


 Finding the Balance 

There are days when we feel like saving the world,

So morally conscious and good.

And there are days when we just want to indulge,

Have a good bite to eat if we could.

 

There are moments of feeling so connected to G‑d,

We just stop in our tracks and pray.

But there are down times too, when we’re simply mundane,

Just trudging through life day by day.

 

This push and this pull, this up and this down,

These are really two forces around.

Ratzo – the desire to cleave close to G‑d,

Shuv – the pull back down to the ground.

 

One is the lofty, the other is grounded,

Idealistic versus practical.

There’s a head in the clouds, or feet on the ground,

In short - Spiritual against Physical.

 

Which one to choose? The former of course!

That’s what G‑d wants, it would seem.

Aharon’s sons thought so too, Nadav and Avihu,

When they offered up incense to Him.

 

But this offering was strange and foreign to G‑d,

That He hadn’t commanded them to burn.

And so a fire came forth and roasted them whole,

And to heaven they did return.

 

So strong was their yearning to come close to Hashem,

That their souls flew out of their bodies, on high.

To be right by His throne, well that’s what they got,

Natural consequence – they died.

 

Weren’t they spiritual? Yes. Holy? No doubt!

Sanctified? G‑d Himself said so!

But they forgot that we’re meant to serve G‑d down on earth,

To heaven, we aren’t running to go.

 

Excess ratzo – you named it, their problem precisely,

‘Out of this world,’ literally,

But if you lean towards shuv, like most of us here,

It’s a life shallow and empty.

 

We need to find the balance between these two extremes,

The point where heaven and earth meet.

To draw the spiritual down into the mundane,

Turn inspiration into something concrete.

 

It’s the fusion between the ideal and reality,

To take on something too good to be true,

And hope for it, believe in it, sit down and plan it,

That is the role of a Jew.

 

So when you feel that yearning to plug in above,

Make a bracha on the apple you eat.

Don’t just meditate on His Infinite greatness,

But offer your friend a seat.

 

And with your head reaching high into the clouds,

Yet feet planted firmly on the ground,

By stretching yourself from one extreme to the next,

A giant of a man can be found. 

 

GUT SHABBOS!


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