SF (June 17 1942 / Troy New York)

What Is A Jewish Poem?


What is a Jewish poem?
‘Shema’ is a Jewish poem
Perhaps the Jewish poem-
'Shmoneh Esreh' is comprised of Jewish poems
Nineteen prayers as one-
Our history is filled with Jewish poems-
From the beginning with Abraham and Sarah
Those who have given so much beyond our understanding -
Jewish poems everywhere -

Is each Jewish life a poem and a story also?
Or is it only those who give something to our people and history
Who are worthy of Poetry?

I have known many Jewish poems
People the great world will not know the names of
People who whether they walked humbly or not
Made the lives of others better in some way –

Kindness is perhaps the ultimate Jewish poem
And Justice also-
And Jewish poems are not without their contradictions –

As I write this poem in Jerusalem in the land of Israel
I think of the small Jewish world of Troy New York where I came from so many years ago
And miss so many people no longer of that and this world –

Longing for Israel for two thousand years was the Jewish poem
Living here now is a blessing and a gift
I thank God for.

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