Thursday, December 20, 2007

I'm talking to you, G-d.



Today, I felt like everyone was losing you.
Yes, G-d, I’m talking to you.
Everyone hates you today.
Do you know that?
We heard the tragic news and your name was on our lips.
And we weren’t saying nice things.

You see, we don’t exactly get you.

But we’re not ignorant.
We know it’s entirely your fault.
That’s how much we believe in you.

But we’re starting to expect less from you.
How does that make you feel?

You know, G-d.
As your children, we have some expectations.
You brought us into this world without our consent, so we have some demands.
Some very basic, basic demands.

Like our health.

Like a roof over our head.

We also expect you to let us keep the things that you give.
You know, like our family.

Is that too much to expect? Well, then you should have told us.
That’s what I call having some decency.

You want us to expect less?

Well, we just can't.

You told us you are our father.

If we expect nothing from you, we have lost you.

So we will always make our demands.

And when you cause us pain, we will still want you.

But, please.

Just don’t forget.

Don’t forget that we need you the most when you make us cry.

We expect that you will wipe our tears and help us stand straight.

Because, though we turn to you in anger and questions and turmoil, we still yearn for your embrace. Always.

For only you can heal the wound you created.

Yes, true comfort will always come from you.

No matter how much you hurt us.

I guess we’d rather expect a lot from you - risking everything - then expect nothing and risk losing you.

So let us scream at you, throw up our fists, and blame you for everything. You deserve it.

But please, respond to our fits with a hug.

The kind of hug that tells us you will never let go.

And, this time, make us believe it.

26 comments:

YitzchakS said...

BH

This is wonderful and it sums up how so many of us feel after a tragedy. WHY does this have to happen - and to GOOD people? What more does Hashem want before He too says AD MOSAI?!?!?!

WE, all of us, not just their orphaned children, need people like the victims of that accident on this earth and when they leave us too early we all are at a loss. Why can't Hashem take back His dangerous, useless and defective merchandise (like Ahmadinejad or whoever runs Hamas) instead.

Anonymous said...

you tell Him...

KayPin said...

I didn't know your write so well....this is beautiful...
I am going to be a favorite visito now....

Chadatto said...

Mim, Im gonna tell you straight out that I dont always read your blogs. But when I do, I am always amazed and inspired. I feel your passion and sincerity. This is really beautiful.
Your poem is bitterly honest. Most people will shove their real feelings under the blankets, "You cant think like that", you will tell yourself. "Am I a heretic?" No. You are human. You are allowed to think what you think.
But you also must listen to what you think. It sounds funny. But your instinctual thoughts are integral to learning more about yourself.
What you wrote is the reality of our thoughts and emotions. What we do with them, how we respond to them and how we use them to grow closer to G-d is what's most important.
Looking forward to your next thoughts.

Rachel said...

Mim, I think you took your poetic license too far with this one. It strikes me as too brazen, too brass.
Phrases like "having some decency" and "you deserve it". The way you're talking to God lacks fear and awe, things we have to, at least, attempt to achieve when speaking to God.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who has ever felt true pain or true loss feels this way. Very guilty but very justified. We are human and as such we react to our emotions. Fear of Hashem is being able to approach him in love too when we don't have to check everything we say and do because Hashem loves our every facet of questioning and processing... It' all a journey Rachel or whomever it is all a journey....

Anonymous said...

Great writing Mima and what a voice for the family that is feeling exactly this way. Amazing...May hashem comfort the family and Klal Yisroel and may we know of only happiness in the minutes,hours,days,months and years to come...

Anonymous said...

Mimi incredible.
I knew when I saw the title that you would be able to express my feelings exactly. Exactly. I only hope I can believe that Hashem actually hears this and will respond in the way we are begging Him to.

Anonymous said...

And one more thing - even the picture's perfect.
Feel like I'm looking at me.

YitzchakS said...

Mim, I think you took your poetic license too far with this one. It strikes me as too brazen, too brass.
-------------------
It strikes me as sentiments expressed by Reb Levi Yitzchok meBerditchev, with language and style updated for 5768!

Yudit said...

so true mimi. so true. Moshiach Now.

Rachel said...

Anonymous,
I disagree with you wholeheartedly. I think we must check what we say before talking to God. An idea which is reflected by the fact that we have a formulated davening every day. And by the fact that we are halachically prohibited from davening when we're drunk. And of course we are human and can't help our emotions- I don't think my point contradicts that. And I agree, it is a journey, anonymous, it is a journey.

Yitchaks,
I don't know what Reb Levi Yitzchak may or may not have said. But if he said the same, I guess I would have questions for him, as well.

YitzchakS said...

I don't know what Reb Levi Yitzchak may or may not have said. But if he said the same, I guess I would have questions for him, as well.
-----------------------
The famous stories that are related regarding R' LY are very similar in theme to this post. Maybe I'll even remember to take a copy of this post with me when I finally make it to his kever which is not all that far from where I am.

YitzchakS said...

Hashem WANTS us to be angry with this long, miserable golus. If we did not have reason to cry out, then we would be content with what we have. And if we do not cry out, and we do not express our anger to Hashem and tell Him that it is enough, why should He give us "that big hug" which is Moshiach?

And when we express our feelings to Hashem, we are recognizing that He, and only He, can put an end to our suffering. This post seems to be a response to a car accident related tragedy. Would you rather that Mimi try to blame the driver, or the car manufacturer, or the roads for the tragedy? (EVEN if human error were to blame, or something was wrong with their car or with the road, WHY did this particular couple, who did much good and whom I believe chose a Torah lifestyle on their own, have to be in THAT place at THAT time?)

No, she blames Hashem, and wants Hashem, who is the only one that is responsible, to put an end to this suffering. To just accept this and worry about how we sound is not enough sometimes. I can accept the loss of a very elderly acquaintance of mine at age 91, and when it happened I could hardly say anything except Boruch Dayan Emes. But this? Seven unmarried children without parents? Who cannot be angry at Hashem and who can understand what He wants from us? And this is not all.

Yes, we are angry. No, we do not understand. But we know that one day we will understand, and we scream out AD MOSAI for that day to come. No, AD MOSAI is not a polite and sweet slogan. It means we have had it, and we don't want to take it anymore. But we recognize that Hashem and only Hashem - not the latest scientific discovery, not some political change - will be the One who wipes away our tears and soothes our anger.

YitzchakS said...

Yiras Hashem is not only fear of being struck down for being disrespectful the way we were given detention for being fresh in class when we were kids. That is a very low level of belief which will only lead to a feeling that following the Torah is stifling and restricting. Yiras hashem is awe, respect for Hashem as the One who created everything AND recognizing Him as the only one who is responsible for everything, good and bad, so that we have to follow His laws because He put us here for that reason.

YitzchakS said...

But we recognize that Hashem and only Hashem - not the latest scientific discovery, not some political change - will be the One who wipes away our tears and soothes our anger.
----------
and one more comment - I must add that even when a helpful scientific discovery appears, or if a major and beneficial political change like the fall of Communism takes place, this, too, is in Hashem's hands (as those of us like myself who remember the fall of Communism and live in formerly communist lands know very well). So, we do not put our faith in human beings, and we also do not worry about expressing our emotions to Hashem for that, combined with a life of Torah (or of the 7 mitzvos for non-Jews), is the ultimate expression of yiras Hashem.

to rachel and a/o else... said...

Mimi’s way of expressing pain is completely acceptable.
Her choice of words, if anything, express how much fear and trust she really has. Not the opposite, Gd Forbid.
I don’t think it’s ok to tell people off while they are experiencing pain.

I personally have gone through a tremendous loss...
The pain is enormous.
Even this does not sufficiently explain it.
PAIN runs much deeper than anyone can imagine...even such a long time after.

Even through the healing-process…when things are looking better, and life seems to be getting back to normal. It is not. The pain doesn’t just END.

People who tell us not to cry out- who are TG not involved, and don’t understand how deep the pain runs- are not doing the correct thing.
Before I tasted pain, I too looked at people in that way- expecting them to cope and say things in a better way. All the while thinking that I understood what they were going through. But you don't understand it, as hard as you try.

You cannot judge.
You can tell yourself to react more positively, but not others.
When people have had enough, they are expected to cry out and beg for an end. And those around them are not allowed to stop them.


And also- aren't we always told to "talk to G-d in our own language?" (In addition to our "formulated davening" of course.) He understands, loves, and accepts us any way we come...Even when we are fed-up.

Anonymous said...

Mimi,

Your precision in the language of emotion strikes home.

Some of my students are dealing with tragedy right now, and as strong as these young women can be, as strong as a front as they can put up, it so clear that there is conflict and confusion in their hearts.

We stopped to recite tehillim for the two sem girls in Hallandale, today. In those five minutes, all conflict and confusion seemed to dissipate from their faces.

It's so hard to understand that sometimes Hashem says no.

c said...

This is my favorite piece.
Brutally honest.
I can feel your hurt, but only because I know it so well.
Mimi, you managed to articulate what we are all feeling and hoping, in a way that no one else could.
Thank you.

Rachel said...

To everyone who responded to me,
I understand your points, although I disagree with many of them. I don't really wish to address each one because it would take way too long, and it's the type of conversation to have in person. Many of you are jumping to conclusions as to my meaning. I am in no way saying we should not cry out to Hashem. Of course we should. I am in no way saying that we can't feel angry and hurt. I am saying that I don't think it is correct to say that no matter what we say to Hashem we are justified in, just because we are in pain and are upset. Do I understand where it comes from? Of course. Am I making judgements on Mimi's character?(as you implied) Or on anyone who suffers. Of course not. But if someone is composed enough to write a beautiful, well-worded blog, then to me they are composed enough to formulate and think about the tone of their words. Of course it is a totally different story for those that are completely debilitated and distraught with pain and mourning. Of course.

YitzchakS said...

But if someone is composed enough to write a beautiful, well-worded blog, then to me they are composed enough to formulate and think about the tone of their words.
-------------
What is wrong with the tone of her words? There is no inappropriate anger here. She is describing how people feel and how people cry out. This is not the rambling and disrespectful tone of (lehavdil) some skeptic or formerly frum punk who curses Hashem chas vesholom. This is someone whose every fiber cries out with emunah, emunah that Hashem is the only One who can solve the tragedies of the world, and bitochon that He will do so bekoroiv beyameinu mamash NOW, NOW, NOW!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful poem! You are an amazing poet.

lubagal said...

Oh my gosh Mimi so beautifully said...
We need Moshiach NOW!!

Trying To Do It Right said...

This post is indeed powerful and poignant. Many share in the feelings so articulately expressed. The underlying theme, the cry of Ad Mosai, is at the forefront of all of our minds as we go through tragedies, especially the likes of that which is happening now - events that are just too much to grasp.

Yet, there still is the Jewish way of mourning. True, the Rebbe tells us we should beg Hashem to stop the pain and bring Moshiach. True, we have every right to fully feel and express our anger and our pain. But there's a Jewish way of doing all this.

Mimi, I respect you as a person and I love your writings, including this post. But I still agree with Rachel that there's a fine line between screaming "Ad Mosai?!" and telling Hashem, "Eveyrone hates you today." We're not looking for someone to blame. It's not a matter of telling Hashem, "it's entirely your fault." This is not a blame game. And it's pushing it a little to imply that Hashem is being indecent ("That's what I call having some decency"). Or that He "deserves it".

It's true that, as one of the commentators noted, Hashem accepts us any way we come, because He loves us. And because He loves us, Hashem punished the Jews in the desert for complaining, and we are explicitly told in the Torah that we are not to curse Him, no matter how angry we are. We don't want to tamper with our strong and everlasting, close connection with Hashem. (I'm not at all ch'v saying that Mimi did anything of the sort... just that we need to be careful.)

Hashem is our dear father. He loves us infinitely and He wants the best for us. Always. At times we are angry at Him and at times His "kindness" hurts. It hurts a lot. So we get angry, we beg Hashem for mercy... and we remember that Hashem is on our team. The Shechina is right here with us in golus. Hashem also wants Moshiach.

Thank you, Mimi, for giving voice to our feelings, and for allowing us to process yet another chapter in our long golus. May Moshiach come right now, and usher in the days when we will no longer need to say Ad Mosai.

Itzhak Schier said...

Ah, but it IS entirely Hashem's fault! Hashem created evil as well as good - Hashem created the Ahmadinejads and the Nasrkakas, and the drugs that cause the criminals in NY to get violent. He created the laws of physics that made the automobile possible - as well as potentially dangerous. He created MRSA bacteria that we can't always beat, and the causes for diseases that cannot be cured. He created human beings with the potential to cause damage to themselves and others (as well as with the potential to do good, and everything in between).

"Everyone hates You today" is just easy to understand language to express the same feelings Mimi shares with Reb Levi Yitzchak meBerditchev who said one Yom Kippur: "Let Ivan blow the shofar" - let the crude Ukrainian peasant whose whole existence was about tormenting Jews be the one to say thank you to Hashem for letting him have such pleasures at the expense of us, His am segula - for we do not have anything to thank Him for this time and most importantly we are not the ones who need to do tshuva...

Now, the Ivan here in Ukraine is on the bottom, occasionally impotently vandalizing a shul which is quickly repaired or rebuilt to twice its former size, but the sitra achra which Hashem created shows up in the form of automobile accidents, incurable diseases including mental illness, crazed lunatics who rule over countries with great financial resources and have the power to threaten civilization, Jews who give in to the sitra achra and put Klal Yisroel in danger as they give away land that is not theirs to give away etc. And have we forgotten Him? No. Jews are coming closer and closer to Yiddishkeit; even non-Jews are recognizing Hashem more and more - but the tragedies still go on. What is going on here????

menucha fwheel said...

blunt reality...unfortunately, this is a mirror to my emotions. beautiful poetry. rachel, poetic liscenses never have limits.