On April 2, 2024 we got the sad news yesterday from the Aquarian Minyan that a dear friend to many of us in the Bay Area Jewish Renewal community, Marty Potrop, had just passed away on April 1, at age 72. May his memory be a blessing.

I wrote about Marty in Holy Beggars. He was Shomer — literally “Guardian,” or Board Chair — of the Minyan in 1997. Eventually the controversy that was raging in the community at that time became so intense that he felt he could no longer hold the community together.

So he called one night to ask if I would be willing take on that role if the Council invited me. That was the last thing in the world I wanted, and I felt that he was better qualified than I was. But Marty argued very passionately that new leadership was needed during this difficult time, and he wanted me to step up.

It was the most intense and intimate conversation that we ever had with each other. And there were consequences that neither of us could foresee.

So Marty, in honor of your memory brother, and with prayers in my heart for peace and light and blessings at this stage of your journey, I want to share these passages from Holy Beggars: Shomer.

On Turning 80

On Turning 80

Blessings for the twilight.
Blessings for the dawn.

Blessings to the elders.
Blessings to the grandchildren.

Blessings to the lovers.
Blessings to the ones who need love.

Blessings to the One who opens the gates and cycles the seasons,
rolling light from the face of darkness
and darkness from the face of light.

Blessings of beginnings.
Blessings of endings.

Blessings to the one who wanders lost in the darkness.
Blessings to the one who lights a candle in the night.

Blessings to the one who knows when it’s time to leave the party.

Blessings to the one who puts another log in the fire,
drinks one more cup of coffee, and parties on.

Blessings to the beautiful fleeting butterflies of Impermanence.

Blessings to all who walk this road with courage and love,
doing we’re here to do: partners with the Eternal.