Tight Cord

Remember as a kid you learned how to poke holes in the bottom of two tin cans, tie a knot in a string and run the string through the hole of one can then through the hole in the other can, tying a knot, and then you could pull the cord tight and talk? You’d put the open end of that can to your ear, and you could actually hear what the other person was saying. You might have experimented a bit and found that when the string was loose, the sound would not travel. But, then you pulled that cord tight . . .

I have a lot to say tonight, but barely any words to do it. I could, given the time and the context say it all in words, and I will, and sooner rather than later. But in relative terms, it is already late in this day, and Sabbath is here by my reckoning (the average sunset times for Portland), although I still have a few minutes, officially, before the candle lighting. So, I will take those minutes here to pull the cord (Hebrew tiqvah) tight and wish you a sublime shalom.

This cord is no tightrope, mind you. There is no danger of falling off it into the abyss. It is instead a lifeline when needed and a connection always and a true tiqvah in the biblical sense (cord of hope) that allows us to know and to be known in that same sense.


Days of glory and a fair amount of wonder, these past few. The gifts of music have resounded deeply and in timeless fashion. With words, I might prepare notes for Rachmaninoff’s second symphony and speak of its gentleness and kindness, with just a touch of mystery from the oboe once, and then the joyous celebration.

But, it is time to light the candle and enter the sublimity wished for us by the Lord of the Sabbath.

Shabbat Shalom . . .