Monthly Archives: October 2010

Facing and Losing Face

An old hobbled woman a beggar in the street was drinking tea in a paved courtyard in the shade of the oak. It was wondrous to me how she could break free from the terrors of a cursed fate to … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Talmud | Leave a comment

Taking A Stand That Does Not Trample

From the place where we are right there will never sprout flowers in the spring The place where we are right is trampled and hard like a courtyard… The poet, Yehuda Amichai, picks up a theme both modern and ancient:  … Continue reading

Posted in Mishnah, Poetry | 1 Comment

Abraham, the Son: The Image Maker and Image Breaker

There is an ancient story about Abraham smashing all the idols in his father’s shop to prove that the idols were only statues, not gods.  As a child, I always thought that this story was in the Torah, so often … Continue reading

Posted in Parshat HaShavuah, Poetry, Torah | 1 Comment

Noah’s Flood: Outer Landscape and Inner World

An ancient sage and a modern poet, each named Yehuda, give different life to the images of the biblical flood story. The terrain of the flooded world reminded the 4th century sage, Rabbi Yehuda ben Simon, of Psalm 36:7:  Your … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Parshat HaShavuah, Poetry | Leave a comment

The Art of Blessing

I am not sentimental about old men mumbling the Hebrew by rote with no more feeling than one says gesundheit. Poet, Marge Piercy, is impatient with the ancient formula of beracha/blessing.  Certainly, formulas fall short of the evocative blessings that … Continue reading

Posted in Blessing, Poetry | Leave a comment