7 Elul 5776
My teacher gave me what I do not need, told me what I need not know. At a high price he sold me water beside the river. In the middle of a dream he led me gently to my bed. He threw me out when I was crawling, took me in when I was home. He referred me to the crickets when I had to sing, and when I tried to be alone he fastened me to a congregation. He curled his fists and pounded me toward my proper shape. He puked in disgust when I swelled without filling. He sank his tiger teeth into everything of mine that I refused to claim. He drove me through the pine trees at an incredible speed to that realm where I barked with a dog, slid with the shadows, and leaped from a point of view. He let me be a student of a love that I will never be able to give. He suffered me to play at friendship with my truest friend. When he was certain that I was incapable of self-reform, he flung me across the fence of the Torah.
Leonard Cohen, Book of Mercy