Nothing and All

A176 nothingall

Written by Rebecca. Rebecca, a first-time Jewrotica writer, operates with the belief that no one gets out of here unloved. A writer, storyteller, singer, and teacher, she invites you to take reliable risks that lead towards inevitable inspiration. She strives to live in the dynamic balance of complementary contrasts. Sometimes with disastrous results…what a blessing.

Rated PG-13Tisha b’Av, the fast day in remembrance of the destruction of the second Temple, is a time of and for dissolution. It is an awesomely powerful opportunity. Instead of fear, it breaks us open to compassion.

We learn from Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakai:

Once, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai was walking with his disciple,
Rabbi Yehoshua, near Jerusalem after the destruction of the
Temple. Rabbi Y’hoshua looked at the Temple ruins and said
“Alas for us!! The place that atoned for the sins of the
people Israel lies in ruins!” Then Rabbi Yohannan ben Zakkai
spoke to him these words of comfort: “Be not grieved, my son.
There is another equally meritorious way of gaining ritual atonement,
even though the Temple is destroyed. We can still gain ritual atonement
through deeds of loving-kindness. For it is written ‘Lovingkindness I
desire, not sacrifice.'” (Hosea 6:6)

Midrash Avot

A lover can offer the same powerful destruction. Without fear and with compassion, we are opened to feel more, stretched until breaking. Dissolution is also a manifestation of the divine.


Nothing and All

You destroyed me.
Ripped me wide open and plowed through me.
Dug under, dug up
the deepest parts of me unearthed and strewn all over the bed.

With the strength of your body, mind and soul, you held me close
I was soft as tissue paper, delicate and easily torn
just waiting to be dissolved.
disintegrated
vaporized
and I became boundless and free

connected intimately to nothing at all

and my feeling
my ability to feel
s t r e t c h e d
o u t

now that I’m out,
we might as well
continue the dissolution of
everything
so that we can have nothing and all

Rebecca operates with the belief that no one gets out of here unloved. A writer, storyteller, singer, and teacher, she invites you to take reliable risks that lead towards inevitable inspiration. She strives to live in the dynamic balance of complementary contrasts. Sometimes with disastrous results...what a blessing.
  • Ayo Oppenheimer

    Thank you for sharing your poetry and helping our readers relate to Tisha B’Av in a new way. Nothing and all, indeed.