Shavuot: Harvesting the Holy

Open fully my eyes HaShem just as You spread before me the gift of your Torah

Within its vast and ever-turning scroll are planted the eternal seeds of my faith

Harvested each season in the garden of my open heart

I come here hungry to feed upon your law as I seek to further understand the clues before me

In their ancient forms I read more than words

Indeed I am invited to share in the journey of the prophets

To challenge my seeking mind to embrace the history and the hope penned upon this ancient parchment

Within the song of the Torah

Angels blanket their wings about us as warmth from the outer cold

And upon the sweetness of milk and honey

My soul's promise is easily found

A longing grows for You the Giver and Taker of being Who humbles me by speaking within Your prayer and purpose

This moment

This sacred day of Shavuot

And every breathe yet to bless my always-seeking path

This is more than a holiday to give thanks

Or a night to sit together by the candle�s glow

Far sweeter than the often-shared cheesecake

Yes, on this night we gather across the spinning globe

To once again embrace this welcome pause

And within our study and sharing

Our laughter and song

We discover the resounding sacredness of our own names

For we are who G-d calls this day

To once more open the Torah as our constant and guiding word

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