Song of the End and of the Beginning

This prayer/poem describes the Shekhinah, the Divine presence, as "yoshevet ba'ganim," the dweller in the gardens, an appropriate image for this season of midsummer. Translations of Hebrew phrases appear at the end of the poem.

Ha'yoshevet ba'ganim,
O you sitter,
you dweller,
you maker of dwellings
from whose body
peoples emerge
in whose footprints
in moist earth
lilies spring up

you who linger in
the garden of gardens
your hair dark and secret
as roots,
spiced with every

chaverim mak’shivim l’kolech
the boys of summer
turn your way
those young ones
running sweaty in afternoon fields,
jostling each other
on sidewalks
green boys
in need of sun and time

I want to hear you
sing to them,
of the mystery of seed and leaf,
of hand and eye and tongue
of delights tangible and fleeting
of peace beyond all battling!

let me hear them hearing you
ah lover, ah beloved--
together we may yet fill up this earth
so lost, so ravishingly lovely
with the sweet and mighty melody
from which flows
every song

Yoshevet baganim—you who dwell in the garden

Chaverim makshivim lekolech—companions listen for your voice

hashmi'ini—cause me to hear

—quotes from the Song of Songs

Diane Elliot is a rabbinical student and instructor in Conscious Movement. This poem is used with permission of the author.

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