Thursday, May 27, 2010

Parshat Behar/BeChukottai

I was amazed by the prevalence of conditional phrases in this week's parshah. To me, they seemed to emphasize the fact that all of mitzvah observance, and further, all of life exists in the realm of potentiality. All objects are hylic matter, while all existence might be potentiality that needs to be wrought into a coherent, beneficent, or (G-d forbid), malfaisant form.

My poem this week plays with the nature of potentiality in Jewish theology. Emily Dickinson was my poetic inspiration for the tone, language, and form of the piece. Gut Shabbes!
Everything Waits in open If

Everything waits in open "If,"
dangles varicose as toes perch
atop darting, crackling cliffs.
Back and forth, these dust bodies lurch.

"You sow, reap, you eat, you manger.
You jubilee, every seven.
Sit still with Me-- sudden strangers
just passing through--I own heaven."

Every If very well may Be,
birthed in potentiality,
Even the fertile land He gives
Fallow as dust, in breath it lives.

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