A Poem for Sukkot
- The author of this poem is Ruth Brin, an accomplished Jewish author, poet, and liturgist. Her poems appear in just about every Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist prayer book. Following is one from her book Harvest: Collected Poems and Prayers, entitled "Sukkot".
On our tables are the harvests of the earth,
pears and grapes, corn and peppers;
we thank You for the food which sustains
us in all seasons of the year.
In winter we stand at our windows looking out
upon dreary trees;
long ago the harvest was taken, only dry stalks remain,
and frozen ground beneath the snow.
We thank You for shelter, for the body that shelters the spirit,
for the house and the city and the nation which shelter us.
For the talents of those who design and build,
for the ability of those who make shelters of justice
and structures of peace.
In the spring, after rain, our eyes are filled with loveliness;
greening lawn, opening bud, darting bird.
To thank You for fruitful earth and talented people
is not enough;
there is life and growth, perception,
consciousness, logic and truth,
and because of these there is Your gift of freedom.
We thank You that we are not like bud or bird,
but being human, are free to choose
even between good and evil, life and death.
In July, in the warm sweet days of summer,
we thank You for beauty.
The oaks cast their deep shadows on the lawn,
and we thank You for love:
That we dwell in the shadow of Your love,
that we are able to love,
even as You love us.
Now at Sukkot, the apples hang ripe and heavy
on the trees,
the trembling leaves shine red and gold in the sunlight.
You are the source of the radiance of the sun,
and of the fruitfulness of the earth, his bride.
For shelter and freedom, for love and beauty,
for all the harvest of earth and sun,
of talent and spirit,
For all Your blessings, we give thanks to You.Cheryl B. Levine, Psy.D.
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