Elul 5780

Poems written throughout Elul 5779 in anticipation of Rosh Hashanah 5780


With your whole


Like an animal



Be honest

Be kind

Be forgiving

Be true


Speak from here


Take care of yourself

And others

When you can.

Start again.

This is not a complete list

But rather

A good place

To begin.


Take me with you

don’t leave this behind

this aspect that

is persistent

that wakes you up

in the middle of the night

that knows right

from wrong

that craves closeness under skin

touch at the bone

I am the part that

is still here

that you try to


make meaning of

get closer and closer

until you are convinced

that you get it

I persist



Be with me

I am not separate

I want to be


this essence.


Let it settle.

Something has ended

Something new is arising.

This in between place

is holy

is alive

is whispering…

wants all of you

to stay.


There’s a love story

That ends in each other’s arms

How do I bear it

This unknown?

This everything unfolding in

chaotic mystery

This what if

This trial and learning

This aching sorrow

This glory

This remembrance

This pain and this horror?

There’s a story that ends

In misery and heartache.

It happens.

Life is relentless.


There are days

When Grace seeps in

And we try to soak up as much

As we can get

To encode

That feeling

Into our bodies

Lest tomorrow

We die.

Yael Schonzeit