Friday, September 3, 2010

Imperfection: An Interpretation of Psalm 99

An Interpretation of Psalm 99
by Joshua Hammerman

Adonai, You have answered them,
as the One who could bear their imperfections,
after exacting a penalty for what they did.”

God could bear the imperfections of Moses, Aaron, Jacob, Miriam and Samuel
So why can I not forgive my own?

For You it is all so simple
Sin, punishment, teshuvah, slate cleaned.
The never-ending cycle
Never ends in pain.
The pain comes and goes;
The guilt is gone,
Only to return with the next golden calf.
The pain is gone, the memory is short.
It’s so un-Jewish!

And so un-me!
I cannot forgive myself so easily;
For last week’s indiscretions.
Missing my child’s bedtime
Or missing a meeting;
Forgetting a call
Or making it.
Not hearing one cry,
Because I’m listening to another.
Or not listening hard enough to either.

You who suffers our insufferableness,
Grant me the ability to bear my own suffering.
Teach me, O paradigm of Perfection, how you stomach us
So that I may forgive myself
For not being You.

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