Elul Day 1 (The first time)
It was my first time;
I was nervous.
But you understood
And you somehow managed to guide me
Even as you gently teased –
Showing me which arm to use,
How many times the strap goes around the forearm,
How many times it goes around the palm before the middle finger.
My father never wrapped t’fillin,
I told you.
These are my own set.
You gave me the words to say and when.
And I never loved you more
Than when you refused to pass judgment
On my earnest awkwardness.
I told you that I wanted to wrap t’fillin –
Binding head to heart with my hands –
In order to hear God speaking to me.
I couldn’t tell you how I wished,
When you wrapped your own t’fillin,
That heart and head would meet
And you could hear me.