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5775: The Year of the Palindrome

This year is like eye-candy. 5775. So simple, so solid, so symbolic. It’s a palindrome after all…read the same forward or backward. And it’s the only palindrome year we will see in our lifetimes.

There’s something so comforting in its sturdy symmetry. And Lord knows we need some comfort this year. So let’s make the most of 5775’s palindromic power.

First off by the fact that Jewish mystics take their numbers seriously. They build entire universes of meaning on thin strings of digits. So let’s not quibble with the Kabbalists but rather try to see things through their mystic lens. For this year invites us to imagine that YES, numbers and letters MEAN something.

And what does a palindrome mean? In short, it means meaning.  It connotes order, symmetry. It is a symbol of how symbols decorate the world….and for good reason. They offer us grounding, direction…a path of pattern through the forest of our days. So may it be that 5775 be a year of firm order, deep meaning & much-needed centering!

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5775

What a pattern of power.

Read backwards or forwards

it really doesn’t matter

— for this is the year of the palindrome.

 

It won’t happen again for another 110

So let’s make the most of its order

and spin some meaning from the chaos

through the grace of numbers well-placed

and play off  that feeling

that all is well here

and we are here for a reason

— for this is the year of the palindrome

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5775

where our beginnings and our endings

collide, relax

& finally start to rhyme.

Where our starts and our finishes

meet somewhere in the middle

ready to settle

into sevens

flanked by five’s

like fingers of two hands

holding something too exquisite

for mere minds to understand

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And so our souls leap in to lend a hand

and rattle off riddles instead

like UFO TOFU

like SOS & ABBA

like WOW & SABABAS

like TATTARRATTAT

Read this way or that

it really doesn’t matter

— for this is the year of the palindrome.

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In a world gone garbled

and garbed in confusion

Let us laugh at the math

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and tinker with the illusion

that we are anything other than

Oneness personified,

marching in union

NEVER ODD OR EVEN

just a given

just breathing

just being

here in the in-between

integers of finally feeling

centered, mirrored

& rooted in meaning

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And this year may we

celebrate the symmetry

of G-d’s way of doing things

like caterpillars crafting butterfly wings

like water reflecting sky, seamlessly

like the way we smile at similes

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For this new year brings

A simple and accessible

out-breathe of numeric poetry

of 7’s and 5’s

standing sturdy in a line.

 

So relax & enjoy the ride…

for inside a palindrome

wherever you were going

you have already arrived.

 

And whether the world is upside-down, inside-out

forward or backwards

it’s really doesn’t matter

for it’s all a part of the Divine pattern

 

So surrender to its symmetry

and insist that this be

the very best yet

— year of the palindrome.

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Post-script: A little Yom Kippur Number Symmetry

Here is a small taste of some Kabbalistic number play peppered into Yom Kippur. At the apex of the Musaf Service YK afternoon, we call out, “TShuva (Return), Tefila (prayer), Tzedaka (charity)!” Written plainly  above each of these words is another word. Over the word Shuva is Zom/fasting. Zom’s gematria (numerical equivalent) equals 136. Over the word Tefila is written Kol/prayer. Kol is also 136. Over the word Tzedaka is Mamon/money. And you guessed it. Mamon = 136. The shared numerical values  reveal a spiritually intrinsic connection between each of these methods of atonement.

– Gmar Hatima Tova friends!