Exalted One – / You call us to holiness, / To climb the ladder, / Higher and higher, / To reach as far as we might, / But never to rise above the angels.
You call us to purity, / To be as priests, / In this world, / Separate and apart, / As intermediaries / Between our flawed humanness / And Your Transcendent Oneness.
How do we come near / To You Who dwells on High? / How do we discover / You, enthroned beyond stars? / How can we reach / You, larger than thought? / How can we know / You, Ineffable Truth?
What is the way to holiness / If we be so bound to earth, / And driven by need, / And broken by grief?
You call us to rise up / and bow low to You, / At Your holy footstool, / To be enveloped in Your Glory, / To transcend our senses / Where sapphires glisten, / And angels praise, / And Torah letters shimmer, / And souls sing.
You say that Your teaching is not so distant, / Not across the seas beyond our reach, / Nor in the heavens above / Making it unattainable.
It is rather, close, / So very close, / In our hearts, / In our breath, / And upon our lips.
Almighty One – / You brought us out from Egypt / To renew us, / Redeem, free, heal, and restore us, / To ready us / As Your treasured people.
You led us into the wilderness, / Into silence and nothingness, / Into a blank slate, / And you painted a picture of our lives / And commanded us to be / Like paint upon a landscape, / Parent respecting, / Shabbat observing, / Torah learning, / Vengeance eschewing, / Righteousness doing, / Kindness performing, / Neighbor assisting, / Senior revering, / And stranger loving.
If this is what You intend for us / And if this is the way to be holy, / It is so very hard! / But those who seek You / Will continuously strive, / And we will teach this to our children.