Shabbat under the stars
or at least we assume there are stars
this is Los Angeles, we never actually see them
we burn too bright.
And by stars I mean the balls of fire
that would light up the night time sky
if we didn’t live in a basin full of smog
and not those other stars we have in our city.
And wouldn’t it be funny if you looked up and
saw David Schwimmer floating just to the left of the moon.
If Ben Stiller gathered up all his comedy to make a constellation.
If just a blink of Adam Sandler could be seen somewhere near
We Jews wouldn’t see Tom Cruise in the sky.
We may like his movies but he has made it clear
he is not one of us.
And what does it mean to be one of us?
Is it the smell of baking challah on a Friday Afternoon?
I have it on the best of authority that your grandmother
made the best challah there ever was.
Is it driving to services to be in a room with
a thousand other yous, any one of whom could be the one.
You could propagate the species with anyone in the world
but you’ve come to this room to make another link
in our chain.
Is it the words of the Rabbi?
Hardly more than three minutes of the simplest words
that take the complexity, the pain, the struggle of our every day
and point us towards the common sense light of tomorrow?
Is it those words?
Is it the melody, the beat of the drum, the strum of the guitar,
the voice through the wireless microphone, this tune, our tune,
the one stuck in your head all week, the one you’re tapping your
fingers to right now, the one that makes you lift your hands to
whatever might be up there, the one that turns our thousand voices
into one…is it that? It might be.
We make the world new every week.
Six days of labor for this gift
this rest, this holy siesta.
this garden of respite from the nonsense of the week
this rib from my chest to yours.
We are all one of us.
So take a nap.
Enjoy this day of days.
We get to do this every week.
Shabbat under the stars.
You deserve it.