Monday, September 24, 2007

The End...

picture taken from my hammock last autumn...

You know that feeling?
Before a major test...
You study for rest..
Exhausting nights..

And then ..that moment..
When you cant study anymore..
The morning of..
Or sometimes..after its over..
You just sit back..
Close you eyes..
It feels

I’ve always felt an affinity with Sukkos..
Sukkos to me is about..breathing in...
Its about endings..
About the sum..
Its about..
Going outside into the crisp air..
Adding another layer..
Its about being content..
About being spent..
And the joy..
Its about gathering up..
Coming to terms..

Its about Koheles..
About reading “The End”
And smiling..

I watch the leaves..
Those beautiful leaves..
Showing their own way..
Final display...

And they speak to me..
They tell me..
David..yes..there is beauty
Beauty in


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Thursday, September 20, 2007


I can’t anymore...
Cant fight this war

Theres only so much
I can..
Its just too much..
The stench..smoke..
Rattled nerves..
Unsure cause...

Here I am..
Emerging from the haze..
Hands raised...
White flag...
Wrapped around my body..
To you...

But even in this lowly world..
Don’t they understand?
You treat a POW with respect..
{can I expect}
You clothe and feed...
..all that I need..


wishing everyone an easy and meaningful fast...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

(A)waiting dawn...

Nafshi LaHashem MiShomrim LaBoker, Shmorim LaBoker
My soul yearns for you amongst those that await the morning, those that await the morning...

Why the repeat?

Yearns for
amongst those
Those that
The morning
(after all, we all await..
{don’t we?
___________ (......optional)


(but even amongst those that await.. soul yearns to be amongst those)
Those that {truly}
The morning
Shomrim LaBoker...

It's in the A..
Isnt it?
Sure we “A”wait...

But drop the A.. many actually wait..?

Back in the was so easy to wait for the morning light..when there was no electricity..the world was oh so dark at night..
Theres so much (light)..who waits for the morning light anymore?

Quick addition to clarify the last 2 lines: The problem is we don't know what we are waiting for anymore. We don't know what the morning looks like...we confuse electricity with the sun..
So it gets dark in this room...we screw in a bulb...dark in that room...turn on a night light..if we'd only pray for the morning..everything would be illuminated at once...



Saturday, September 15, 2007


I must've heard these words 100 times on Erev Rosh Hashana...

oy..di ikkur iz gezint...

..amein..but the most important thing is health...

daven good..have us in mind..but remember the most important thing is health..

and then God gives us Health..


We're still not happy...



Monday, September 10, 2007


Picture taken by me 6 years ago today..

The fear..
The horror.
The heart stopping every time a plane seems too low..
The obsession with the obituaries..
The memories..
Its all

Fading some mysterious place..
Some place all the horrors of history slink away to..

Its Tuesday September 11th...



Sunday, September 09, 2007

The State of Yourself vs You

Chazal point out that we Jews go into The Judgement Day of Rosh Hashana dressed in our finest clothing, our table filled with delicious food. In stark contrast, when one is about to be tried in Criminal Court, he’s nervous and certainly does not feel like partaking in any Holiday spirit.

Here is the reason.

The courtroom is packed as the long awaited trial is set to begin. You are the defendant, at the mercy of a random jury and under the merciless verbal attack of the smooth prosecuter.

Now imagine for a moment that you look across the courtroom and see that the prosecuter is none other than yourself, and then you glance over at the jury box and see 12 clones of you seated.
Although the room is sternly presided over by the no nonsense judge you happen to know your law and you know just what to do to get yourself acquited.

The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva says.
1) If one transgressed any commandment of the Torah, whether a positive or a negative one, whether deliberately or accidentally, then when one repents one has to confess verbally to God, for it is written, "When a man or a woman commits any sin that people commit...then they shall confess their sin which they have done". This means verbal confession, which is commanded positively to do, and is performed by saying, `O Lord, I have sinned, transgressed and rebelled before You, and have done such- and-such, and I am ashamed by my actions and will never do it again'. This is the main part of verbal confession, and expanding on it is praiseworthy. A sin- or guilt-offering when brought because of sins committed either deliberately or accidentally are of no effect unless the person bringing it repents and confesses verbally, for it is written, "...that he shall confess that he has sinned in that matter". Similarly, capital and corporal punishment do not atone unless the recipient repents and confesses verbally. Likewise, if one does financial damage to someone one is not forgiven unless one repents and resolves never to do it again, even if one paid back the money, for it is written, "...any sin that people commit".

3) In this day and age we have only repentance, for we don't have the Temple and Altar. This repentance [that we have to do nowadays] can atone for all sins. Even a person who was wicked throughout his life but at the end repented does not have any of his wickedness remembered, as it is written, " for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not stumble because in the end he turned from his wickedness". The very aspect of the Day of Atonement atones for penitents, for it is written, "For on that day He will forgive you".

You see, divine justice works very differently than human justice. There are no external prosecutors or juries judging us. We are essentially judging ourselves for the damage we have caused ourselves and the world.

So why are we afraid to? Why is it so difficult?

Two reasons..

1.We don’t truly believe that this is true. The yetzer hora knows how to pull us down and make us feel so depressed about what we’ve done. This makes it very difficult to believe that we have the power to be a Tzaddik with one change of heart. With one genuine undertaking to truly turn from the past.

2. We’ve become so attached to our sinning ways, a part of us doesn’t want to let go.

So at the end of the day it truly is The State of Yourself vs. You. Your self perception standing in the way of true change.



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti 1935-2007

There are voices and there voices.
The are Hills and there are Mountains.
Ever since I first heard Pavarotti, when I was about 14 years old, I have been mesmerized by this gift of God.
I know most of you are not Opera fans. But you don't really have to be a fan of opera to appreciate the pure, rich and golden voice of this legendary tenor.
To me his voice was no less magnificant then the Alps.

But he was more than a voice. He had presence that few others have. His intense eyes, huge form and electric smile have made him larger than life.

Here is a clip of Nessun Dorma, which became his signature piece over the years.
A clip of him and Bon Jovi..for those that need a "pop" setting to appreciate the voice.

I was just stunned this morning to read of his passing.
The voice the New York Times called "like molten gold pouring out of his mouth" has been silenced...

I woke up this morning and The Alps were gone..

Arrivaderci Luciano....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

((shudder))....say it again...

Thundering speech..
Fire n brimstone

This is the third year
At this shiur
I look around
And lo and behold
Everyones the same
Not one persons changed

I look up at these monster roller coasters..
Bungee jumpers..
In amazement..
At people..
Shrieking..and paying

I’m beginning to wonder..if our souls like thrills
As much as our bodies...
Death defying..
Shudder inducing..
Is a terrifying mashal..the equivalent
Of a 300 foot vertical drop?
Is reading about a horrific tragedy..
Like a death defying..bungee jump?

Six Flags Rabbi Waxman..anyone?