Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today I read The Ineffable Name of God: Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

His poems are beautiful and breathtaking; best of all, they are exactly what I feel towards God and the world we live in. I find so much of myself captured in Heschel's words and thinking and that gladdens me.

His poems are written in Yiddish, but happily they've been translated so that I can understand them. He is, of course, brimming with passion.

This is the poem that opens the book:

I and You

Transmissions flow from your heart to Mine,
trading, twining My pain with yours,
Am I not- you? Are you not- I?

My nerves are clustered with Yours,
Your dreams have met with mine.
Are we not one in the bodies of millions?

Often I glimpse Myself in everyone's form,
hear My own speech- a distant, quiet voice- in people's weeping,
as if under millions of masks My face would lie hidden.

I live in Me and in you,
Through your lips goes a word from Me to Me,
from your eyes drips a tear- its source in Me.

When a need pains You, alarm me!
When You miss a human being
tear open my door!
You live in Yourself, You live in me

And here is another one that particularly speaks to me:

To a Lady in a Dream

Grant me a breath,
A finger's touch;
for a thousand hours of yearning
give me one word!

I dreamt of you through all my youth,
through all my youth, fenced off from you-
and my dream aches so much.
I owe to you my immense yearning-
and beg of you: Rescue my dream!

Your eyes are greetings from God,
Your body- an oasis in the world,
joy for my homeless glances.
Your legs are trees of desire
in the gardens of quietest delights.

I searched for you in dreams in the night.
You never came to my unforgettable desires.
Yet stubbornly the dreams swore: You are there!
Some day you shall belong to me!
But like a student at a test,
I now stand mute before you.

I've come with showcase-words boldly to your heart.
Astonished, looking through your eyes
as through the shattered windows of my dream-
I've forgotten my arrows, forgotten my bows...
forgive me, beloved, my chaotic silence!

Grant me a breath,
a finger's touch;
for a thousand hours of yearning,
give me one word!

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