Monday, June 13, 2011

Storah After Hours

Dear Storah Family,

I'm excited to share with you a few (virtual) cheese cake crumbs from the Storah After Hours Shavuot celebration held two nights ago at the 14Y.
Also, a photo, and a big THANK YOU.

About 50 people joined us for a night of study, singing and reading from our new Torah Scroll on the roof of the Y. Old and new friends, many of you.

The big thanks go to Isaac Shalev, Naomi Less, David Wolkin, Brian Gelfand, Sara Beth Berman, David Loewy - and esp. Emily Warshaw - for teaching, leading and organizing the event so beautifully.

Marina Kaufman and Michael Dorf represented our Board of Directors. I took a few photos of Michael holding our new Torah as we went upstairs to the roof for the beautiful ritual. One of those is attached. Stay tuned for more - and the short video.

SO - What was revealed on Shavuot night?
For me, it was the simple, sweet sense of trusting in our human ability to be fully present, attentive and open to new ways of making sense of old truths. As we stood on the roof, under the hot summer sky, distant stars and crescent moon, Isaac chanted each of the 10 commandments and Storah styles translations popped up - from all of us present. That old list of laws became live and raw and real. I was very moved. I'd be curious to hear from your present - what was your Shavuot Revelation?

And - our new Torah was revealed! We clustered around her as she sailed on her virgin Storah voyage. We sang the Shecheyanu. There were tears.

And a final crumb, one poem, from Yehuda Amichai, with my translation, for the night of revelation, and for many many more.

Shabbat Shalom


My father was god, but he didn’t know it.

He gave me the Ten Commandments, not with thunder or fury, fire or clouds,

but softly, with love, caresses, kind words.

He added ‘please, please’ and sang the words ‘keep and remember the Sabbath day’ and cried quietly: ‘don’t bear false witness, don’t lie’. He’d cry, and hug me. ‘Don’t steal, don’t lust, don’t kill’.

He’d put his hands on my head like the Yom Kippur blessing. “respect’ he’s say ‘love and live long upon this earth’.

His voice was as white as the hair on his head.

The he turned his face to me, like that last day, when died in my arms, and said: “I want to add two more commandments to the ten. The eleventh: never change. The twelfth: change, change.”

So spoke my father and walked away into his strange distances.

Yehuda Amichai /translated by Amichai Lau-Lavie

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