Ordinary Ordination

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they do not always represent the represented

a bag of belief and decorum to sell as charity

good representatives out of reach with cryptic blessings

the bad with clever statements of ulterior motives

the questionable leaders with paved paths of good intentions to hell

turn their back on abandoned wives as good for the soul

presiding over bad matches struck stuck kindled

silence when match lights brush fires

seeing other worlds and names and visions as excuse or reason

people so want to believe, human betterment, immortal help

token of immortality to endure the mortal condition

tell me what will happen, who will it be, explain why

the represented pure truth doesn’t think like man

endless pursue to decipher, understand, perceive

trust in bad representatives with no patience for little us

nor time to offer the helping hand they teach

we are not their neighbors or are as themselves

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Tanna Elisha

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(sidewalk art in Yavniel)

mon pauvre, Elisha the forsaken

not to be mentioned by name

as big as he was, giant of Torah

really perceived himself locked out of heaven

to be of the famous four to go in the orchard

but not to come out right

did you really think you would be rejected

if you repented, left outcast

your miracle-working student  got you into hell

Reb Yohanan Amora got you into heaven

the smoke abated and you got your place.

E Pluribus Unum

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I celebrate not myself, nor sing myself

or at least try not, work to uproot my self,

for every atom in me belongs to Him

the Endless sea, constant transmission of life

I am merely a drop longing to return to His sea

blend with borderless oneness

egocentricity bears no fruit, tho’ you may

define your self as poet

a bed-fellow like yours chops down your family tree

your breast of herbage is beneath mortal form

song must be directed, for energy is never lost

and no one lives in a vacuum

I sing to this sea, that even a leaf of grass

all stems and grows from His root,

the true origin of all poems and song

I am my soul, the other to you

material is material fact to you, that you confuse

the spirit cannot be called by just any other name

the Creator breathed living spirit into Man,

who was once the only one, but not alone

The Alimah Oasis

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from the art of the Tiberias Open Air Museum

maybe we should have insisted on staying where it was good

twelve freshwater springs of the Alimah Oasis

and seventy date palms and manna

morning of Sunday 16 of Eyar manna came down

the oasis before Amalek, before the golden calf

before all the crusades, pogroms, and persecution

nice, warm, cozy and safe like a fetus

in a warm bath womb – life in utero

and from Marra already learning

about Shabbat and the red heifer

wonder why emerge at all into this world

air of relentless trials, war, and pain – real life

Sefer HaMidot

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Sefer HaMidot – literally translates as The Book of Character Traits – is one of Rebbe Nachman’s books.  It is arranged according to issues in alphabetical order from Emet (truth) to Tefila (prayer), and most chapters have two parts.

The first part is a compilation of verses from the Tanach, Oral Law, and poskim pertaining to midot and segulot (traits and spiritual remedies) which Rebbe Nachman completed before he became Bar-Mitzvah, i.e. before he reached age 13.

The second part was compiled later in Rebbe Nachman’s life and reflects his own insights regarding the issues.

He said of this book that it is what made him a real Jew.

Mandate of Pain

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(art from the Tiberias Open Air Museum)

that million-dollar conundrum that stumps

even the best of ‘em from Job to David to

me and you, why?

there are reasons, good reasons

does the soul read all that fine print

before signing the contract up there

perfectionist soul Get The Job Done!

get it all done and over with, in theory

just and good just what it needs

self-centered soul sees only itself

any consideration for the body that ends

up bearing the brunt of the fine print

body, mind, and emotional lower levels

of its signature-bearing soul

yes, sign on the dotted line

to commit to a job well done

to the soul general well done

aerial view above ground, the higher reason

to the lower levels a mandate of pain

the boots on the ground with the grunt work

the fox holes, the heavy gear, the sweat

the soul knows why it signed on

if you have to say it’s all for the best

best for the soul

it means you hurt, it means pain