by Judith Felsen, Ph.D.
Blessed are we who have strayed and returned
called back by Your mercy,
awakened from selfishness to holiness,
from cruelty to kindness.
Unseeing we concealed, justified, perfected,
means to reach our ends, claim desires,
perhaps ignorant of damage done,
unaware of straying far from You.
Detours often deadly to our peace,
balance and well- being are brought to halt,
corrected paths of our atonement filled,
with deep regret, our shame and sadness,
healthy guilt a guide of our return to holiness.
Returned we recognize the place from which we came.
Blessed we are to live in 13 Attributes divine,
enriched with lessons, errors, sins corrected,
trails cleared with soul emancipated,
debris of our myopia no longer in the way.
Blessed we are to have another chance,
Elul a context for amends, atonement is our action.
We walk in humbleness with flaws exposed,
a time to for gratitude and grace that we are seen,
rebuked, and redirected.
The path we follow to Your palace takes us home.
With You and worthiness which we have earned in Elul’s regimen,
we now feel ready.
Reconnected, we are one.
Judith Felsen, Ph.D. is a 2nd generation Holocaust survivor, Baal teshuvah aspirant, more of a poetess, hiker, walker, mystic, dancer and naturalist than a psychologist. Judith, wife of Jack and dog mother of Emmy (aging Newfy) is a resident of Bartlett, New Hampshire and a member of the Bethlehem Hebrew Congregation where she offers the dvar Torah for Kabbalat Shabbat services from October through June. Judith has been blessed to continue to experience rabbi Katy as a muse currently and for several decades.