Sunday, December 16, 2012

at ease in zion

anna's menorah tonight--a miracle of lights.
anna's been at our house for two hanukah nights, with her menorah, lighting the candles and singing the prayers.  tonight the full menorah was so beautiful, and i felt grateful for the miracle of light in a dark, dark day.

tomorrow, mormon women are engaging in an action that will hopefully bring about more dialogue and  gender equity in our congregations and services.  but, seriously, i'm scared.  (and i don't have appropriate pants, either, as i rarely wear them).  i'm not scared of the death threats (seriously!  death threats!) i'm just scared. isn't that weird?  it's been interesting that so many people who don't think a discussion of gender issues in the mormon church is valid, necessary, or productive have said, in slightly different words, just shut up about it.  as i've already said once  this week:

don't tell me to shut up.

i talked to a lot of my favorite mormon feminists tonight, and only one of them will be going to church in the morning in pants. so i guess it's not weird to be scared.  i guess we're all a little worried.  

i don't think i have the time or energy to dissect what this means right now.  

so many questions that will never, ever be answered.

i wanted to share this reznikoff poem tonight--seems like it tangentially speaks to the act of questioning as, in itself, an answer of sorts.  as his sabbath closes and mine begins, we'll both have some time to be at rest in our own zions.

["The lamps are burning in the synagogue..."]

“The lamps are burning in the synagogue,
in the houses of study, in dark alleys. . .”
This should be the place.
This is the way
the guide-book describes it. Excuse me, sir,
can you tell me
where Eli lives, Eli the katzev
slaughterer of cattle and poultry?
One of my ancestors.
Reb Haskel? Reb Shimin? My grandfathers.

This is the discipline that withstood the siege
of every Jew;
these are the prayer-shawls that have proved
stronger than armor.

Let us begin then humbly. Not by asking:
Who is This you pray to? Name Him;
define Him. For the answer is:
we do not name Him.
Once out of a savage fear, perhaps;
now out of knowledge—of our ignorance.

Begin then humbly. Not by asking:
shall I live forever?
Hear again the dear dead greeting me gladly
as they used to
when we were all among the living?
For the answer is:
if you think we differ from all His other creatures,
say only if you like with the Pharisees, our teachers,
those who do not believe in an eternal life
will not have it.

In the morning I arise and match again
my plans against my cash.
I wonder now if the long morning-prayers
were an utter waste of an hour
weighing, as they do, hopes and anguish,
and sending the believer out into the street   
with the sweet taste of the prayers on his lips.

How good to stop   
and look out upon eternity a while;
and daily   
in the morning, afternoon, and evening
be at ease in Zion.

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