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Jewish Journal

Kabbalah

by Tony Barnstone

January 16, 2014 | 2:11 pm

Two eyes, one nose, one mouth, and what could be
more perfect? Maybe the small fraction of
a smile she aims at his glance secretly
across the table, kabbalistic love
that no one else... read full article

  • Friday afternoon: The rabbi’s wife

    by Enid Shomer

    December 19, 2013 | 12:00 pm

    Inside the yeshiva he’s busy naming things
    while I, like Eve, watch the smallest movements
    in the world — grass bending as if it aches,
    a bird that carries lust in its beak.
    Through the window I’ve seen him bent over
    the text, saliva flying from his mouth
    as he reads and...

  • Poem: Isaac Bashevis Singer in the Reading Room, 1968

    by Floyd Skloot

    December 12, 2013 | 12:59 pm

    This old man in the armchair’s plush embrace
    waits for his thoughts to settle. He is not
    my grandfather despite the wrinkled face,
    gleaming skull, vast snout, gargly voice, and odd
    twist of lips. They sound like men from the same
    village in an old country bordering
    on nowhere...

  • Poem: Sound Advice

    by Linda Zisquit

    December 4, 2013 | 4:10 pm

    You have to know
    who to talk to:
    choose a dry
    cistern
    so that what is said
    is kept there;
    like the rabbi’s
    knowledge
    never leaking out,
    it will remain sweet
    as water in a sealed pit.

    Bor sud, in Hebrew, is a water-proofed cistern, or sealed pit, which holds all the...

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  • My daughter was born on my mother’s Yahrzeit

    by Carol V. Davis

    November 20, 2013 | 3:47 pm

    All morning I thought of my mother,
    how often we waited for her to die
    and then the affront of it

    when she finally did, as if it were
    up to her family to tell her
    when she could let go,

    as if by holding her tired fingers
    we could drag her forcibly back
    to this life, when...

  • Poem: Jacob After Fording the Jabbok

    by Sharon Dolin

    November 13, 2013 | 4:54 pm

    All night long I
    wrestled with an angel — his face
    obscured by hair the color
    of light — arms, strong thin
    swords           we tumbled
    on the road as two animals
    in the heat of spring — we could not be
    parted — bless me, I said — and he touched
    my thigh — the hollow of my...

  • Discourse on the crippled God

    by Tony Barnstone

    October 30, 2013 | 12:51 pm

    A man swings through the open doors on crutches,
    his long arms thick with muscle like the Christ
    whose marble shoulders shouldering the cross
    are sculpted mighty as Odysseus’s.
    Before he crosses forehead, heart and chest,
    the cripple leans one crutch against the wall
    and dips...

  • Poem: In the same key (Chayyei Sarah)

    by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

    October 23, 2013 | 11:32 am

    They come together to bury their father
    in the cave where Sarah’s body lies.

    (No one imagines the vaulted church
    -turned-mosque with painted ceilings

    or the synagogue, or metal detectors
    to keep armed men from getting through.)

    Isaac and Ishmael wash him with water
    and...

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