Vayetze 5775: Messengers among Us

WOW Kislev Carla at KotelIs it possible to recognize an angel, a messenger of G-d? How would I know? Angels appear at the beginning and the end of this week’s Torah portion, Vayetze, first in Jacob’s dream of a stairway from heaven to earth, then as Jacob and Laban part ways. This meditation asks if we are capable of seeing angels and greeting them with curiosity and wonder whether or not they conform to any expected vision. It includes a not-so-subtle question to those who assail the dedication and joy of women who take on the mitzvah of t’fillin: what if they are also messengers of G-d?

Messengers among Us
What if angels appeared at your door?
Would you recognize them?
Invite them in?
Feed them or wash their feet?
Would you listen to their wisdom
Or laugh at their words?

What if G-d’s messengers
Shaved their beards,
Took off their kippot,
Or wore the clothing of beggars?
Could you see them?
Can you see holiness in the unexpected?
What if angels appeared at your door?

What if G-d’s messengers
Were women in talitot and t’fillin
Singing freely, full voiced, Shema Yisroel,
Chanting the Torah of our people?
Could you hear them?
Can you hear holiness in joyous song?
What if angels appeared at your door?

G-d of ancient vision,
G-d of modern voice,
Open the eyes of our people
To see holiness and love in one another,
To receive the messengers among us
With joy and gratitude.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer reflects my support for women’s prayer at the Kotel. It’s a thank you for the inspiration to begin to explore my own commitment to the mitzvah of t’fillin, which I wrote about in the Times of Israel. The photo is from the Women of the Wall Facebook page. Here’s a link to my Vayetze 5773 selection, “A Moment of Love.” Here’s a related prayer called “Messengers,” which I posted for Vayeira 5773.

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Photo Source: Women of the Wall Facebook Page/Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5775

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