In Featured at HBT, helfman, Our Virtual Mishkan


In the British Liberal siddur, each week’s Torah portion is given a topic and readings.  This week’s topic is “Loneliness,” as the Torah portion begins in the Wilderness.

The Torah was given, our Midrash teaches, in fire, water, and wilderness. Fire and water are nourishing and dangerous. The wilderness beautiful, vast, yet never forgiving. It is a place and a state of mind. Sinai is real and imagined.

In this section on loneliness, the siddur teaches:

There are times when we all feel lost of alone, adrift and forsaken, unable to reach those next to us, or to be reached by them.  And there are days and nights when existence seems to lack all purpose, and our lives seem brief sparks in an indifferent cosmos.  Fear and loneliness enter the soul.  None of us is immune from anxiety or doubt, none escapes times when all seems dark and senseless.

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the farthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or  say goodbye;
And further still an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Then, at the ebb-tide of the spirit,
the soul cries out and reaches for companionship.

I share these words with you not to draw you deeper into this sense of disconnect, but rather to say that may of us are together in the disconnect.

Even, sometimes the gathering online reminds of us the distance. The screen is full of images, but the gap is felt in that the screen is all there is, on a table, surrounded by air.

So in our depths, we cry out to the greater world, mima’amakim k’raticha Adonai.  And we await the echo of an answer. And pray for a time of much more.


Are you seeking connection during these times? Click here for a listing of Connected Conversations with the Holy Blossom Community!

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