Israel: My Family

The land of my people
finds no destination upon a map

No address or signpost

Its doors open to an inner sanctuary
upon colorful patterns
which dress the past
in the fabric of this earth

A harvest of generations
with roots sewn to the circle of hills

As waters of the sea gently bathe in the light

Echoing the inner invitation
and ever-rising heartbeat

To return to a most sacred place

There I feel the miraculous light of the glowing menorah
taste the sweet challah of the expectant Shabbat

Hear the Eternal’s words within the life-changing Torah
and stand ever-ready to take up the shofar’s call
as it weaves through my days and nights

Embracing me, converting me,
into the prayerful man I seek to be

And it is here I am united in the

Land of hope

With you my true family

In the land of Israel

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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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES