My parents were the type of parents who when they would get really made at us as adults, they would cut us out of the will. It was usually about who we were marrying, or some perceived insult that we weren’t even aware of. At different times, all three of us were out of the will, and all three us were promoted to Executor. When they died, I was the only one in the will.
SHAKE OFF YOUR DUST – WAKE UP!
When we talk about Lecha Dodi, the center of the Friday Night Kabbalat Shabbat, we usually talk about love, about greeting the bride, and about the peace of Shabbat when our divided selves come together.
That is all true, but there is another aspect to the poetry of Lecha Dodi that seem quite relevant these days.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world. (Psalm 19)
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” These were George Floyd’s last words. Breath is life. In Hebrew, almost all the words for spirit or soul are connected to breathing. Soul is neshama, which is from ‘breath.’ Spirit is nefesh, which means windpipe, the very thing the police officer choked off in his killing of George Floyd. I grew up in Georgia during desegregation; I wish I could say I was shocked by the death of George Floyd, but I’m not; we know it is just one incident in a much longer and bloodier story.