Fool's Ship

Our fast is thankfully broken
and the shofar put away for another season.

Yet, the piercing but welcome blast still echoes in our ears.

We seek to understand its simple yet beckoning song
and to listen with open hearts as it flows ever on.

Riding upon the vessel of sweet dreams
where we raise its sails flying high.

Or are we riding on a fool's ship?

Ever closer toward
the port our dreams still seeks to find.

Have I been like Jonah and just tried to run away?

Or, discovered within the courage to calm the storm.

Have I asked G-d to find my worth?

Or, swallow me up in fear and shame.

Whichever, I am a sailor who causes G-d to smile.

To sing beside me at sunrise
and gently dance as it sets.

I calmly stand on the deck of my soul's vessel, charted upon calming currents of peace.

The destination is home.

Guided by the compass of our conscious,
and the rudder of our rhyme.

Today we calmly stand upon the deck of this fool's ship.

Perhaps not arriving where we had once sought.

Rather instead upon quiet shores,

Arriving to where we already are.

Rabbi Tad Campbell


Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)


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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES