Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Metzora 5776: Take Me Apart

Cleaning House - Scrubbing TileParashat Metzora details a particular form of leprosy that afflicts the mortar of a home (Leviticus 14:33-53). The home itself gets a spiritual sickness. This home-leprosy must be diagnosed by a priest. In extreme cases the mortar is removed, the stones scraped and some discarded. This meditation imagines a human being as “the house,” that we can be afflicted with an internal spiritual sickness that can only be cured with an inner dismantling and, even then, only with the help of G-d. Word choices are designated with a slash (“/”).

Take Me Apart
Take me apart,
Bone by bone,
Sinew by sinew,
Organ by organ,
To reveal the lesions and strange bumps,
The fungus and the broken glass,
That blacken my veins,
That grind my joints,
That cloud my eyes.

I will take a knife and a wire brush
To scrape out the poison,
I will take rags and bleach
To wipe out the sludge,
Until my heart glows
And my soul shines
With the fruit of my own labor.

Only then,
Holy One,
When my flesh shimmers
And my spirit soars,
Reassemble me into
The man/woman/human
You intended
For me to become,
Clean and ready,
Holy and strong,
A sacred mirror,
Reflecting Your vastness
And Your glory.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: The house-leprosy is a powerful and useful metaphor for family dysfunction. This prayer was first posted to this site last year for the combined parasha Tazria-Metzora.

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