Leaves upon the Tree of Life
(in honor of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting of 10/27/18)
Torah is the tree ever-growing, born of our unspoken prayers, heartfelt longings, and immeasurable admiration. Each seed planted early that first dawn in the still young earth. Its seeds, just like us, forever blossom by constastantly growing stronger and rooting themselves, ourselvess, in in the promise of all our tomorrows.
Life, like the tree's branches, seems at times too high to touch. But with childlike anticipation we jump up and grab hold of a lush green leaf, pulling it with anticipation closer towards us, and breathing in its sweet and intoxicating fruits of joy and hope. We inhale deeply its sweet aroma and feel its velvety soft touch, safety shadowed by its rising branches. Stepping back, there we at last see its strong and reaching roots.
But it is not the earth that holds the tree in place, rather, the tree keeps the earth strongly grounded beneath our feet. And here, as in everywhere, we are blessed to experience the face of G-d for we indeed stand on holy ground.
We my family are the living, breathing Torah growing from a single seed. And each seed, every one of us, will ripen and bear fruit in due season. Picked by the tender hand of the One who spins all into the holy dance. The same who harvests each of us by our own sacred names.
G-d is the constant Creator of our world. He is also the involved, compassionate, nurturing energy that warms and feeds our souls. This same energy, the life foorce planted in us all, is the Eternal magnificently lighting up, as well as tenderly shading our ongoing and seeking paths.
Along the way, faith stems from our continuously reaching for the leaves of HaShem. Grace, is His bending always toward us in kind. And as we two touch, gentle breezes calm upon Heaven's holy fieldslds where we peacefully discover, the fertile soils of our once and yes eternal promised land.
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.)