I know this isn’t supposed to be an artsy poetry blog. I am meant to be irreverant and hip, or as much of those as I can muster from between suburban loads of laundry. (And no, that wasn’t a metaphor for anything deep. Except the actual laundry pile.)

Hopefully, however, this slightly irreverant poem about the ultimate irreverance (or was it?) in this week’s Torah portion will be tolerated, poetry though it is. (I hope.)

Shabbat Shalom!



Leviticus 10:1-3

these rules will be the death of us:
this “how to please me”
this tutorial of the soul.
How can passion
wear a girdle?
Answer questions?
Where is the sacrifice
in this ritual
if our flesh isn’t in it?
Our everything,
sewn together with time…
this lust
grows dusty
with regulation
and waiting
and brain;
It’s the ancient inertia again.
Time we climbed out of the Egypt in ourselves…

When we were slaves,
we moved,
we cried;
The One We Long For
split the sea
for bony wretches in shrouds
– – in clouds.

And now:
in regal whites,
we lounge like old women – –
knitting our urges into underwear,
cozy and maddening
and pink.
it will be
the death of us
to think.

– SKE, May 2001

This poem was inspired by, and is imprecisely based on, a shiur on Parashat Shmini given by Dr. Aviva Zorenberg.

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  • I mean poetry’s not my thing, but isn’t it supposed to be kinda hip? Isn’t that why poets both good and bad get all kinds of booty? Speaking of which, Shabbat Shalom – the bell’s gonna blow any minute now…

  • Jewlicious is supposed to be irreverent? I thought it’s meant to be a virtual refuge from the hipster J-blogs who claim irreverence as their thing.

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