What is a cubit?

Is it a measurement of height?


Depth or breadth?

To a simple man named Noah

it was a measurement of faith

Build an ark that would float
surely above the raging rains

Forty dawns of day and accompanying dancing stars

Large enough to safely protect two of every species

Alas, Noah built such a vessel of measure

And as he and his children
followed the voice of the Almighty
so too did earth's creation respond

Not in thought as much as in embrace

In a single yet harmonic heartbeat

Elephants and scampering rodents

Birds of prey and those who coo

In a waltz's crescendo noted in awe
each finding a home within a prescribed cubit

Then the rains began to trace paths upon the land

And as promised they prayed

Trusting as redeeming waters covered their homes
a new hearth would soon be found

Darkness took the place of warming light
as deep, cold waves crashed against their ship of hope

Days and nights seeped into one another
while Noah and his divinely born crew
swayed in the dance

Rain and wind spoke in tumult yet prayer
accompanied by thundering orchestras
and his own soft sigh
seeking the sands of home

Then as easily as the droplets began they stopped

And in the beak of a messenger
the dove silently spoke with a single branch of olive

Dry land was surely to be found

Measured not in height or depth as again in faith

And they prayed with trust to the One
who kept the promise

That day and all our tomorrows

Rabbi Tad Berga

(Rabbi Tad Berga 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 bereavement counselor who currently serves Seasons Hospice in Pinellas, Florida.)
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