In the Jewish calendar, we are just about ready (or not) to enter into Yom Kippur — a full day of fasting and prayer, expiation and forgiveness. The liturgy for this day is full of many different images of our relationship with the Divine: sometimes imagining a God who is loving and compassionate and sometimes God as Judge. Many of our prayers urge God (and ourselves!) to move from judgment to mercy.
This piyyut (liturgical poem) is a favorite of mine. In it we imagine ourselves as clay in the hands of a potter, as glass worked by a glassblower, as the tiller in the hand of the helmsman. And we ask the Source of Life — that Power-Beyond-Understanding — to shape us, work us, steer us lovingly.
As you will hear, my practice is to sing “Ki Hinei KaHomer” to the tune of “The Water is Wide” — another song of powerlessness in the face of Love.