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Tag: Rick Lupert

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  • If Donkeys Could Talk and other Tales From the Road - A Poem for Parsha Balak

    By Rick Lupert

    3 days ago

    Balaam (no relation) is hired to go to the Israelites
    (every relation) and let curses fall out of his mouth.

    On the way his donkey (of the famous Moabite donkeys)
    stops because only she can see the angel blocking the road.

    Balaam (loves his coffee) strikes the donkey

  • It’s Never a Good Idea to Hit a Rock - a Love Poem for Water for Torah Portion Chukat

    By Rick Lupert

    1 week ago

    Oh water, source of life,
    when I need you, I need you
    which is all the time.

    Oh water, you can’t blame
    Moses for striking the rock
    instead of talking to it.

    These days, and those days
    if you talk to a rock, no one
    will listen. Not even the rock.

    Oh water, if you can get...

  • Ian McShane Should Play All the Baddies in the Torah - a Poem for Korach

    By Rick Lupert

    2 weeks ago

    A rebellion against the establishment.
    A dissenting family swallowed by the earth.
    A sudden punitive plague eliminated by a man
    wielding a staff that would soon sprout
    almond blossoms.

    Are you listening HBO? These are the plot points
    of an epic trailer for a weekly series...

  • All Spies Should Focus on Fruit - a Poem for Shelach

    By Rick Lupert

    3 weeks ago

    Just out of Egypt for a year or so and we already have
    a system of espionage. Spies! Sent to the promised land.
    An advance party to gather intelligence. Human Jewish
    drones dwelling on the outskirts of Canaan.

    For how long? Forty days of course. Forty is our default
    unit of...

  • When Meat Rained Out of the Sky - a poem for Behaalotecha

    By Rick Lupert

    June 24, 2016 | 10:00 am

    We’ve been in the shadow of this mountain for almost a year.
    And now, with specific instructions (our history is never detailed
    without specific instructions) we walk away

    towards a place we once did not know, and now is
    a vague memory. A place, that if you were to look at

  • Orlando - a poem

    By Rick Lupert

    June 12, 2016 | 12:31 pm

    At Encino breakfast
    a seven year old draws a monkey
    with rainbow colors.

    In Orlando
    fifty sons and daughters
    who would have loved it.

  • Doing the Jewish Numbers - A poem for Parsha Bamidbar

    By Rick Lupert

    June 10, 2016 | 9:59 am

    This is the week everyone who counts is counted.
    A lineage established so we know the results of
    all the past and future begetting.

    Somehow, despite these efforts, I’m missing a
    few thousand years of direct links. I know who
    my grandparents were, though I never met them.

  • I Want To be Good So Bad - a Poem for Parsha Bechukotai

    By Rick Lupert

    June 3, 2016 | 9:00 am

    It takes twenty verses or so to tell us of all
    the blessings we’ll earn if we follow the rules.

    It seems like a lot until you see the forty
    or so that follow, telling us of all the curses

    we’ll suffer, if we don’t. Shouldn’t it be the
    other way around? I don’t tell my son I

  • Keep Calm and Take a Rest - a Poem for Parsha Behar

    By Rick Lupert

    May 27, 2016 | 8:55 am

    If you were the earth
    out of which everyone’s food grew
    animal and human alike

    you would need a rest too.
    You need a rest too. Take one.
    Not in seven years.

    Every year, a week or two
    outside of your element. It will
    help define your element.

    Every week, a full day.

  • Looking for Priests in all the Wrong Places - a Poem for Emor

    By Rick Lupert

    May 20, 2016 | 9:18 am

    My mother’s maiden name was Cohen
    but because the blood of this tradition
    only runs through the veins of our fathers
    she was not entitled to anything special.

    She wouldn’t believe that if you told her,
    though, and I can recount a lifetime of
    occasions where she was convinced...

  • Why We Never Get to Eat Our Peaches - A poem for Kedoshim

    By Rick Lupert

    May 13, 2016 | 9:49 am

    And you shall be holy, because I am holy.
    And the laundry list of obligations begins.

    Fear your mother and father.

    I wish I’d learned about this earlier.
    I was never afraid of my parents
    although one of them is much taller than me.
    He travels undefeated in every circle....

  • Dracula - Not Jewish - A poem for Acharei Mot

    By Rick Lupert

    May 6, 2016 | 9:48 am

    It’s amazing we invented the concept
    of the scapegoat, only to have it used against us
    during the second war to end all wars.

    And one can’t help but feel bad for the goat
    both of them really. One to be sacrificed
    the other to be sent off into the desert.

    Who decides?

  • Ani Ma’amin - a poem for Yom HaShoah

    By Rick Lupert

    May 4, 2016 | 2:26 pm

    I believe

    my wife’s grandfather was a hero.
    Born in a place where they put up walls

    to contain people just like him.
    Built a statue in Philadelphia

    to commemorate how those walls
    were torn down.

    Three generations of people
    called him Zeydi.

    with perfect...

  • Avadim Hayinu - A Passover Poem (which mentions giraffes)

    By Rick Lupert

    April 22, 2016 | 6:45 am


    You can have your Matzah
    your Moses, your mountain,
    your splitting sea.

    Your frogs, your fickle Pharaoh
    your bloody river, your basket
    made of reeds.

    You can have your chopped
    up apples, or dates if
    you’re Sephardi.

    But it all boils down to
    once we were slaves

  • Something’s Happening Here

    By Susan Esther Barnes

    December 10, 2014 | 12:30 am

    People of my generation grew up with Buffalo Springfield’s song, “Something’s Happening Here,” which starts:
         "There’s something happening here
          What it is ain’t exactly clear
          There’s a man with a gun over there
          Telling me I got to beware"

    It was a song...

  • The end of an era

    June 19, 2014 | 2:46 pm

    When I first came to Friday Night Live
    I didn’t know if I’d ever been in a Jewish room so big.

    It was like they took the entire outside, put up walls on the very edges,
    added comfortable seating and painted the sky to look like a ceiling.

    I remember the sign I saw before I...

  • Poet’s Haggadah story

    April 13, 2011 | 5:52 pm

    Every year at Passover, families around the world pull out their Haggadahs for their Seders, and whether they use a traditional text, a modern one, or even Maxwell House, the story and the words remain largely the same.  But one man, Rick Lupert, saw an opportunity to do something...