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Jewish Journal

“The Imperfect Paradise” by Linda Pastan

by Rabbi John Rosove

September 25, 2013 | 7:23 am

If God had stopped work after the third day
With Eden full of vegetables and fruits,
If oak and lilac held exclusive sway
Over a kingdom made of stems and roots,
If landscape were the genius of creation
And neither man nor serpent played a role
And God must look to wind for lamentation
And not to picture postcards of the soul,
Or would he hunger for a human crowd?
Which would a wise and just creator choose:
The green hosannas of a budding leaf
Or the strict contract between love and grief?

Linda Pastan (1932-),  Modern Poems of the Bible – An Anthology, edited with an introduction by David Curzon, publ. by JPS, 1994, p. 39 – based on Genesis 1:6-13

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rabbi John L. Rosove assumed his duties as Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in November 1988. A native of Los Angeles, he earned a BA in Art History from UC Berkeley...

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