Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Poem: Akiva


Perched atop a darkened snowy roof
Night after night
He maintains his tenuous grip.
Shivering, steadying himself with thoughts of Eternity
He listens intently, envying the discourse
Unfolding beneath his whitened knuckles.

Warmed by the hearth-light,
The bearded ones busy themselves
In endless argument.
Encircled by rhetorical flourish,
Oblivious to the desperate balancing act
Occurring above their heads.

Truth-seeking all too often requires climbing.

Teachers must be ladders -
Bridging the gap between
The seekers and the sought
The tangled and the knot
Things remembered and forgot.

With each precious rung:
Words, laughter, praise, rebuke
They raise us up to loftier vistas.

Akiva, as the story goes, was discovered and embraced.
He descended from his precarious post and joined the ranks of the initiated.
Nonetheless, every night he dreamt of stars.

We, who follow in his footsteps
Must first overcome
Our fear of heights.
*Rabbi Akiva was one of the greatest Jewish scholars of all time. Legend teaches that he began his studies late if life - perched on the roof of the great academies of learning- trying to glean understanding of the teaching that was happening below him.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akiva_ben_Joseph

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