When this is over
And it will be, someday
I will go to shul

I will listen to the ancestral Hebrew prayers
They will wash over me
Purifying me
Like waters of ablutions
For the sacrifices at the ancient Temple

I will pray myself
The words will fly out of me
In loud staccato drumbeats
Forceful, warlike
Proclaiming I came through the battle
And I am here
I am here, now
The words will flow out of me
In soft feathery wisps
Gentle, quiet
Like notes of a sweet lullaby
Rocking my soul to peace

I will gather with other congregants
Who are both celebrants and mourners
I will notice who among us
Is no longer here
And who among us is transformed by grief
And who among us stands in unadulterated joy

I will share hugs
And marvel at how human touch
Both excites and quiets my nervous system
The cells of my body
The follicles of my hair
My earlobes and my tastebuds

I will break bread which is challah
Thinking as I eat it how life is braided with death
Kindness with selfishness
Fear with security
Generosity with greed
Illness with health
Poverty with riches
War with peace
And how always, always this is true

And I will sit with you
And I will study with you
And I will ask you
What have you learned?
How have you changed?

And I will listen to your answer
Deeply, with my heart
And I will breathe with you
In fiery, life-affirming breaths
And we will hold each others’ hands
And we will hold each others’ gaze
And together we will say “Amen”