Delivered at Kol Sasson Congregation.

(You can view all of the sources cited in this sermon here.)

That day I saw beneath dark clouds

the passing light over the water

and I heard the voice of the world speak out,

I knew then, as I had before

life is no passing memory of what has been

nor the remaining pages in a great book

waiting to be read.

It is the opening of eyes long closed.

It is the vision of far off things

seen for the silence they hold.

It is the heart after years

of secret conversing

speaking out loud in the clear air.

It is Moses in the desert

fallen to his knees before the lit bush.

It is the man throwing away his shoes

as if to enter heaven

and finding himself astonished,

opened at last,

fallen in love with solid ground.

(David Whyte, “The Opening of Eyes,” From Songs for Coming Home. © Many Rivers Press, 1984.)

This is going to be a different kind of drasha.

Because the pain and heartbreak of the world are too overwhelming today.

The pain and the heartbreak are too overwhelming, when we see Syrian babies floating in the water.

“When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”

The pain and the heartbreak are too overwhelming, when we see black men and women and children beaten and murdered by police, day after day after day.

In all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.

The pain and the heartbreak are too overwhelming, when hear how debased our political discourse has become, when the leaders of our state allow the hungry and the ill to suffer because they can’t agree on a budget, when our leaders cannot speak to us honestly about the sacrifices we will have to make for our future and our children’s future.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.

Our heart breaks at the condition of our world today. Our heart breaks. God’s heart breaks. It is too overwhelming, and our heart, God’s heart, breaks. (more…)