Earth Etude for Elul 1: For Lea

by Lorin Troderman

Spirals of death in a season of drought

Av reaches in and grabs a friend,


Mourners lament in whispers

“It’s way too early” I shout

We grieve

Each in our own way

But together

On Sunday we will gather by the sea

     Temple destruction remembrance day

          Our earth, a holy temple assaulted by our ignorance

               One less sister to help us reverse the tide

Like our ancestors and descendants

my tears join the waves

slowly streaming down,

Water’s ways

seeking their source,

caressing skin on its descent

along familiar nodes etched like rivulets in the desert,

From the wellspring of my heart

joy and sadness lay tender trails of salt to my tongue

this taste will initiate tunes of resiliency

active hope will rise up

A niggun

Triggering Tishrei with its Elul z’man onramp

A season to reflect recalibrate recall return

Here Now in grief

Expressed in community

Our hearts are raw and open

We share our stories of her

Sacred and wise

Friend and midrashic mother

We are heard

We feel her absence

The Tide will shift

Our tears flow out to sea

Back from where they came

Once, long ago, we crawled out from the destruction

In Av, We remember

In Elul, we reflect

In Tishrei, we flow

Strengthened in our capacity to accept

We spiral into life

Lorin Troderman is a fourth year Rabbinical Student and member of the Earth Based Judaism cohort at ALEPH who completed his first three years of Rabbinical School at Hebrew College. He moved to Maine in August 2020 where he has served as the Rabbinic Intern at Temple Beth El in Portland, Director for Southern Maine Hillel,  and now serves as the Jewish Chaplain at the Maine Medical Center. Lorin aims to bring his passion for Judaism, a deep pluralistic perspective and a commitment to building healthy sustainable practices into our communities. He lives in beautiful Cape Elizabeth with his partner Sussi and her 15 year old Border Collie/Lab, Jasper. Lorin has two adult sons: his eldest, Dylan, lives in Seattle and younger son Max in Boulder. He loves to walk at sunrise and bask in the miraculous beauty of the Wabanaki Dawnlands.

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