Lech Lecha: The Silent Journey

When God called Abraham to
Abraham was silent.
He was also silent when God told him
to take his son up a mountain 
and sacrifice him there.

I think I get it now.

We question Abraham’s silence 
during these trials
because so often he is chatty with God.
He has so much to say.
He is unafraid to challenge.

But these journey’s render him mute
	and I as well.

I have no words on the eve of my own Exodus.
I have spent them all on goodbyes.
I used them up trying to explain the inexplicable.
“This is crazy!” they probably said to Abe as well.
I wonder how long he tried to explain it before he gave up.

And frankly, I’m too tired to think of words,
even words of prayer,
even wails of lamentation.
All of that came before.
	Now, I am just tired.
	Now, my heart is heavy.

I’ll bet Abraham was tired too.
I’ll bet his leaving was also abrupt and hurried.
God is more fearsome than even the U.S. government
	after all.

But anyway.

I understand his silence.
It mirrors my own.
I don’t want to speak.
	Not even to God.
Not now.

Now I just want to begin.
To move my tired feet forward
	step by step
toward whatever I am being sent to.
A place neither familiar nor foreign.
Home and Not-Home.
	Ancient and New.

It is Sukkot and I am wandering
	between places
	between homes
neither here nor there.
Everything is in boxes.
Everything is temporary.

Were they silent too, 
as they left home to go home?

And did they know what I am learning:
	That home is not a place you leave
	or journey toward
	or arrive at;
Home is what you carry in your heart.
	The people 
	The animals
	The memories
	The lessons

Empty mouth. Full Heart.

And away we go.

Scroll to Top