top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Na



I began this last week for Parsha Beha'alotcha, but didn't find the right words in time to publish before Shabbat.

The words that Moshe Rabeinu utters when his sister Miriam is stricken with Tzaraat, are perhaps some of the most poignant words of Torah. Moshe's prayer, "God, please heal her, please." is so full of meaning and hope that it takes my breath away.

There are the prayers that we pray each day, which have been written for us and then there are the prayers born in our heart during times of trouble. I wonder about the small word na. This poem is a reflection on its journey and of what calls us to pray.


 


The word was

silently

called upon.


Words coiled tight

as a spring--

ready to

pounce;

stored

in

a dark chamber

in his mind

where

fears and anxieties

are hoarded.


The words

stealthily slip

between

distant memories.

Past diagnoses

and doctor's visits.

Crisscrossing

doubts,

wading through

reservoirs of hope,

the cool waters of prayer

emerging

from his lips,

as though

they have

a

will of their own


El

na,

refah

na

la

God,

please

heal her.



Please.

Na is a tiny word.

Beginning with

the

briefest

meeting of palate and tongue,

ending with a gentle exhale.


A thimbleful of spirit

and longing

escaping,

before it is doubted

before it is reconsidered.

It travels through

the tangled forests of

the forevers,

the never-evers

and the always.


It spins

and twirls

it bends

and it

soars

na

na na

na na

na. na

na,

na na,

na

na. na

na na

na na

na na


Please.


The word,

like a tiny key,

opens a door

barely a crack;

enough to let in

hope.


Na is his whisper


Na is his demand

Na is his plea

Na is his weapon

Na is his teshuvah

Na is his neder.


Na uttered with

all the faith he has mustered.

with all the love that drives

him.


El

na,

refah

na

la


Na continues its journey.

Along the way it meets other Nas,

all the purest spirit and hopes.


All gather at the gates.

All seek entry.


One by one, they enter.






From the Parsha. - B'Midbar 12:1-13

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he had taken [into his household as his wife]: “He took a Cushite woman!” They said, “Has יהוה spoken only through Moses? Has [God] not spoken through us as well?” יהוה heard it. Now Moses himself was very humble, more so than any other human being on earth. Suddenly יהוה called to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting.” So the three of them went out. יהוה came down in a pillar of cloud, stopped at the entrance of the Tent, and called out, “Aaron and Miriam!” The two of them came forward; and [God] said, “Hear these My words: When prophets of יהוה arise among you, I make Myself known to them in a vision, I speak with them in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; he is trusted throughout My household. With him I speak mouth to mouth, plainly and not in riddles, and he beholds the likeness of יהוה. How then did you not shrink from speaking against My servant Moses!” Still incensed with them, יהוה departed. As the cloud withdrew from the Tent, there was Miriam stricken with snow-white scales! When Aaron turned toward Miriam, he saw that she was stricken with scales. And Aaron said to Moses, “O my lord, account not to us the sin which we committed in our folly. Let her not be like a stillbirth which emerges from its mother’s womb with half its flesh eaten away!” So Moses cried out to יהוה, saying, “O God, pray heal her!”



אֵ֕ל נָ֛א רְפָ֥א נָ֖א לָֽהּ׃






62 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

ANU

Comentários


bottom of page