Let’s Thank the Mystery of Life–A Shabbat Lovesong

Some of us do not quite know the meaning of love
Do not know the dreaming of how it is done.

Was the Torah given by God?
Believe, without seeing it done.

When we were younger, love like a meteor
Out of the blue, came running but was always underdone.

The Torah’s arrival was a wonderful surprise
Keeping humankind from becoming done in.

As we grow older and our hormones grow weak
Love though no longer humming cannot be undone.

When Moses showed the Torah to the people
So many began sunning that nothing got done.

Let’s thank the mystery of life—God, if You insist—
For our few hints of love:
Although our emotions seem to be numbing,
Life and love are not yet done.

© 2015 Henry Rasof

This poem is an ahavah, traditionally a liturgical poem expressing love for God.

The ahavah fits well before the blessing:

“Baruch atah Adonai… Blessed are You, Lord, who has chosen Your people Israel in love.”

I have chosen to wrote the poem in the form of a ghazal, a poetic form popular in India, Pakistan, and the Middle Eastmiddle-eastern countries like Iran. Like the Song of Songs and many poems by mystic or devotional poets like St John of the Cross, Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, and Mirabai, ghazals are love poems that may express godly love in the language of human love. Thus the form seemed appropriate for this ahavah. Many ghazals are set to music and sung; in India some singers specialize in these.

Ghazals begin with a pair of rhymed couplets and are followed by couplets whose second line is a refrain and rhymes with these couplets. The form is thus AA BA CA DA. I’m no expert in this form, though, so if you are interested, I recommend your doing additional research and reading.

This is the last poem I will be posting before I do two postings for Tishah b’Av. Stay tuned.

About Henry Rasof z"l

I have been writing poetry for over fifty years. During this time, I have worked as a musician, chef, book acquisitions editor, and creative-writing instructor.

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