Arpeggio by Tere Starr

Another beautiful note from Morgan Buroker’s bat mitzvah. As part of the Birkot ha-Shachar/Dawn blessings that acknowledge the start of a new day, the wonder of life and miracle of creation, Morgan’s grandmother Tere Starr, read a poem she had written. A perfect blessing for the day.

by Tere Starr

Hope is the thing with feathers.
–Emily Dickinson

I’d almost forgotten
how good anticipation feels,
but then a blackbird came
and sang to me. He ruffled
his feathers, threw his head
back and he sang. Another
blackbird joined him, and then
another. The trio of grackles
created a cacophony.

Other species joined them —
mourning doves and blue jays,
mocking birds and cardinals –
otherwise drawn to water and food,
but now each one sang along,
and somewhere in the myriad
of separate voices,
a symphony was formed.

The birds sang simple truths
of touch and hope, the joys of sharing.
Their song, a gift that’s left by ancients.
And now, with time beside us as we spiral,
the harmony resounds. Arpeggio…
Anticipation signals the essential.
If I follow, it might even lead to love.

B’shalach A New Morning Prayer

by Ellen Danninimages (4)

B’shalach A New Morning Prayer


Lord of the outstretched hand,

who brought our ancestors out of

confinement in Egypt,

release all those bodily confined

for the pursuit of justice.


Release us from the prisons

and the callouses we have constructed

around our hearts.

Release our hands from the shackles

we have placed on them,

and guide them to their avodah [worship / work].


Release our minds from the deceptions

in which they are imprisoned.


Remove exhaustion

from our eyelids and bodies.

Release our spirits from terror and fear.


Renew us that we may be renewed,

set us on our journey to the land

we are to enter.


We are and we are not our ancestors.


We will not turn aside.