Aleynu at Forty-Five

for The Aquarian Minyan's 45 th Anniversary Celebration

Parashat Sh’lakh L’kha

June 28, 2019 ~ 25-26 Sivan 5779

by Rabbi Diane Elliot

Aleynu—

it is upon us now

these many years,

of seeking, searching,

facing fears,

ecstatic prayers

and love and tears.

The lives we’ve lived!

The souls we’ve made—

like Sarah and Abe,

a cavalcade

of blessings, messings,

God-drunk Jews—

and that means me,

and that means youse!

We left our homes

we ventured forth,

we came from east

and south and north…

we neo-hasids

dancing ‘round,

our women’s voices,

lost…now found,

Bu-Jew, Jew-fi, Yogis too,

Reb Zalman saw,

Reb Zalman knew.

“Aquarians,”

we called our name—

“Go birth joy

from the womb of pain.

Go to yourselves!”

the call rang out.

“Know for yourselves,

this Land you scout.”

And so we learned,

and so we grew—

Torah, kabbalah,

and He-brew!

Dusting off

the ancient words,

we swam like fish!

we sang like birds!

We drashed our drashes,

spieled our spiels,

each khag a tour

of holy fields,

spying the land,

sav’ring the fruit,

as year by year,

our dreams took root.

And now, though

some of us are old

we’re no less spry,

we’re no less bold!

No grasshoppers,

but raisins (in the basement!), we—

raisin’ cain,

still wild and free,

raisin’ spirits,

raisin’ roofs,

kicking up

our heels and hoofs.

And though forty-five years

have come and gone,

it is still upon us

to stay strong,

to grow the light

through dance, through song,

to love the dark,

the queer, the odd—

to spread the word

that it’s all God!


© Diane Elliot 2019

Rabbi Diane Elliot at The Aquarian Minyan’s 45th Anniversary Celebration, June 2019, Berkeley, CA

Rabbi Diane Elliot at The Aquarian Minyan’s 45th Anniversary Celebration, June 2019, Berkeley, CA