Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Bind and Wrap

item29Wearing talit and teffilin—Jewish sacred garments—has been described as a metaphor for the love between G-d and Israel. This prayer/poem reflects that metaphor. The first stanza represents Israel’s acceptance of G-d’s love. The second represents the acceptance of G-d’s word. This is my personal meditation to prepare for putting on talit and tefillin. I recently rediscovered joy in the mitzvah of tefillin, a joy I reclaimed while praying at the Kotel in support of the Women of the Wall. I wrote an essay about it, which I posted on my Times of Israel blog.

Addendum, January 11, 2015: I’ve gone from putting on tefillin once a month in solidarity with WOW to praying with tefillin most days of the week. I’ll write an essay about that soon.

Bind and Wrap
We wrap ourselves
In the unreachable
With a sheet of broad cloth.
Fringes tied with turns and knots.
We wrap ourselves
In G-d’s holy shelter.

We bind ourselves
To the unknowable
With each turn of the strap.
Black leather strung from a box.
We bind ourselves
To G-d’s holy word.

How do we hold onto the gifts around us?
How do we see the mysteries near to us?

Bind and wrap.
Bind and wrap.
Throughout our lives,
Bind and wrap.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to another prayer using the tallit as a metaphor, called “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion.”

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