Jewish Journal


by Emily Stern

January 14, 2011 | 5:25 am

Taste Of Holiness
by Emily Stern

I heard that in the garden there is a tree that grows challah.

She plays my heart and her song she prays.
living unravels me in a certain way.
What seeds are you planting?
The kind that grow deep into the ground.
The trees are bleached from growing in the sand here, or a little lightened by the sun.

He carried three hallot on the bus, in bags, under his arm.

and it was deeply ingrained in her, you see, the ability to say THANK YOU for letting a magnificent
fig tree.
blessed are You,
Who owns the ground,
for freeing the bread, for creating the fruit, and the Hachamim, the rachamim
I could smell him ten miles away.

it may be why i came here in the first place, so i could glow upon seeing you, with my eyelids,
with my arms. and she so easily gives fruit
i put “let there be light” at the very root of myself.

and i used to be in mother’s womb and listen to the very strange sounds of digestion, and Birchat Hamazon is not unfamiliar.
and maybe i am water that pushes you to rise. out of resistance, out of pressure.
because that part is laughing through it all—

light aware of it’s beginning.

Trees are bending towards the sand. Offering wheat.  A tree who makes it through the winter.
Wise one who rests, I bless you with the sky in the sand of your body….
and just enough

If the fields could speak, they would say things like the voice has a place here with all creeping crawls,
and the mind with man,
and the ribs with the stars,
and the womb with expanse,
and the root with let there be light.

so if i even knew the fruits i offered,
maybe this is what they mean by “spread your wings”
like gills, in the heart.  so easily it happens
in the midst of all living, is this space around the heart that the heart
opens into. These are the cupped hands for the wisest wine.
oh, heart of flesh, be cause to spread the fruit of this world.

Oceans growing beneath the trees saying “that way, this way” to the leaves, and they respond….
i am doing my job. baking bread in the sun.

There’s a certain light etched into you.

so simple like the pine cones, like the river’s braids, like choice.
like the trunk of the tree, like the strands of the muscles. that pump and pound.

oh, blessed and softened world, on shabbat we do not bleach,

we are your light.


Tracker Pixel for Entry


View our privacy policy and terms of service.




Emily Stern is a devotional poet and songwriter. Her album “Birth Day” can be downloaded on iTunes or from CD baby.  As an actor and playwright, her plays have been performed...

Read more.