James Stone Goodman — Teachings

To My Community on Rosh Hashanah
577*, since the creation of the world
[as we reckon time]

Every day I get up and say you‘re the master of the Universe
Thank you
Now give me the strength to do the right thing
What more do I have to say today
What’s new on the Rosh Hashanah.

Every day I get up and present
I take three small steps and place myself in front of you
What’s my assignment
Make me a vessel of your will
Help me do the right thing
Plant within me the strength to be the person you intended me to be
Let me be grateful for all the days I have been given —

I am I say
I am You say
Let us be I am for each other.

Every day I get up and I listen for the voice of clarity
There is small clarity
Not much certainty
I am listening I promise you
There is theater
There is posturing
There is a move here and there
The best is a good move but it’s a move
It’s rehearsed and it’s a practiced move
I am looking for the spontaneous move of deep sincerity
Basketball moves
That move.

I have been rehearsing for that move
I’ll put it this way: I have been practicing my scales
When I am required to sing
The sound that erupts out of me will seem unrehearsed
It will surprise me most of all
That kind of move
It may inspire you.

To my community
Your moves inspire me
Because you’ve got up every morning and said
Master of the Universe
Into Your hands I entrust my spirit
At the time I lie down and the time I rise up
And with my spirit my body too
You are with me
I shall not fear
Give me the good move
I need it now
I think.


 


 

Address to Congregation Neve Shalom on Yom Kippur

O my dears –
I am an imperfect perfection

God has blundered more than once
in creating me whole

with broken parts.
I have learned with the Sefas Emes

that all my broken parts are whole
and even if not --

none of us are partial
we are all miniatures of G*d

in some inscrutable way
that will clarify if not in this world

in the next.
I apologize

For what I have said or done
intentionally or inadvertently

or I may do or say
in the coming days

that has hurt or may hurt
in any misconstrued way --

forgive me.
I need you more than you know,

your friend always,

james stone goodman
united states of america

If I run into the angel Gabriel
I will tell him how fine, fine
Super-fine
you all are.