What follows is a further conversation (see blog of Aug. 17) between the Israeli poet, Rivka Miriam, concerning a poem studied at Sicha Shabbaton:
I want to share a bit more response of the Sicha Shabbaton community to your poem, “I Spread Out My God’s Names Before Me,” (click here for poem) and also invite you to write a few sentences of your own to continue the conversation with that group.
There was acknowledgment that a poet had put into words some of our own thoughts about needing to name a God who frightens, in whose presence one feels fragile and mortal. This is the God of the Yamim Nora’im: the one who knows everything, forgets nothing, who judges. We spoke together about how also to bring to the Yamim Nora’im the name of God that comforts and soothes.
Many also strengthened by a poet who could say: there are times when one wants attention from God and other times when one would be happy to be just one of the crowd.
Thanks to your poem, we might tuck into our prayer books our own names of God, generated during the year, known only to us, as individuals; names to call upon in our more private moments.
Dear Shabbaton community,
First of all, I am greatly moved by the fact that my poem reached you. When one writes a poem, as in our other creative acts, we find ourselves in an absolutely intimate work, corresponding with an inner person more interior than one’s sense of “I.”
Therefore, when a poem such as this one, written from such an inner place finds its way to others and touches them as individuals, this always strikes me as miraculous. Therefore, I feel that a miracle has occurred for me in that my poem has touched you. This seems to me like a child born from the innermost world of the parents, who, after being raised under mother’s care and weaned, and taking first steps, then goes out into the world without her. That mother will always feel that this is her child, even though he separates from her and enters worlds which she does not know and can never know.
As for my poem, I haven’t anything to say. The poem speaks itself. There is something living and personal here that even I cannot discern… If I were to say something about God and God’s names, or about names in general, it would not be as relevant as when you come to read my poem…
Thanks to you all,