“God gave me mind and heart to learn divine matters from natural events.”

So wrote Harold Schulweis while in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. He was talking about what he learned from the experience of facing his own mortality. He goes on to say, “I have learned that God’s language is in human behavior…We are God’s vocabulary.”

My lesson today in Divine matters? That prayer transcends God. That death frightens and confuses us, but we have beautiful ways of facing the twin challenges of fear and confusion, and they are almost entirely observed in community with others. (May my friend’s cousin Michael rest in peace, and may his memory be a blessing).

And last but certainly not least, I was reminded today of the pure joy of receiving Facebook birthday greetings from friends near and far. if we are indeed God’s vocabulary, it is a vocabulary of love and friendship, of taking a moment to do a little thing to brighten someone’s day.

My thanks on this Shabbat birthday to all who took a moment to send greetings. It meant the world to me.

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