Saturday, February 21, 2009


"I have been hearing the moaning of wood. It is not like a human moan. It is not a moan of pain, it is a moan of adjustment- the whisper produced by a shift in pressure, by a strain that is ending, by an accommodation with the forces that are pushing and pulling. One day I would like to moan like wood." Leon Wieseltier, Kaddish

Yesterday, something I said caused a man to laugh. And he looked like he needed to laugh. Perhaps that was my greatest accomplishment of the day. Maybe laughter, for that person, was the hinge on which his day turned, for the better. And yet, I didn't feel like laughing. I felt like moaning. 'Even in laughter the heart may be in pain...'
Kaddish is the Aramaic for Holy. It refers to a prayer of magnification, and sanctification, of God's name- a prayer used as a doxology in Jewish prayer services. It is also used to mourn.

Exalted and magnified is God's great name
in the world which He has created according to His will
and may He establish His kingdom
may His salvation blossom and His anointed near
in your lifetime and your days
and in the lifetime of all the House of Israel
speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.
May His great Name be blessed
forever and to all eternity.
Blessed and praised,
glorified and exalted,
extolled and honored,
elevated and lauded
be the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He.
Beyond (far beyond) all the blessings and hymns,
praises and consolations that are spoken in the world;
and say, Amen.

This season of strain I have been in is ending. I sense it.
Spring is near.
And I agree with those, past and present, who say
"May His great Name be blessed forever and to all eternity."

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