Enkindling Community: A Poetic Blessing for Lag B’Omer

Enkindling Community: A Poetic Blessing for Lag B’Omer

In this poem, Devon Spier prays for us to build communities of love and respect on Lag B’Omer. According to Jewish tradition, Lag B’Omer marks the end of the plague that killed 24,000 of Rabbi Akiva’s students, who perished because they did not respect one another. The writer, rabbinical student and spiritual entrepreneur shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances. 

Enkindling Community: A Blessing for Lag B’Omer

A plague raged in Rabbi Akiva’s house
Disrespect was the match
that lit the communal fire.
that extinguished people’s lives.
Leaving only the ashes of misplaced good intentions.
A whole house in ruin.

How do we live after we caused the fire?
How do we repair in the face of looming nothing?
How do we begin after we end?

Let us clean out our lot.
Keep only chesed
Tear down our fences
Keep the wood for a new fire.
The kind that enkindles souls.
That raises good deeds and each one of us toward heaven.

Baruch ata Adonai, ohev amo Yisrael. Amen.
Praise to You, Adonai, who loves Your People Israel and who makes possible our love for each other.

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