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Äŧül May 23
All the strength of my impertinent love.
I shall be the August Landmesser.

Low I shall keep my arm en masse,
Of course, I shall not heil the Führer,
Viewing my parents as the dictators, I am,
Expect me they do forget the love of yours.

Yet I shall not comply with their orders,
Of course, I shall always love only you,
Unless I am successful, rest I shall not.
My HP Poem #1846
©Atul Kaushal
ezra Mar 28
I am not up on the bima
A cantor sings in his baritone voice that I do not have and I am not up on the bima

I am not up on the bima
“What’s the right choice to make as Jews?” the rabbi asks and I am not up on the bima

I am not up on the bima
I cut my hair and I “don’t have time” so I am not up on the bima

I am not up on the bima
It isn’t fair I’m scared of what’s mine and I am not up on the bima

How can I be up on the bima?
Sacrificing myself? Do you want to cut me in half so I can be up on the bima?

How can I be up on the bima?
I stand back by the shelves, away from the staff and I am definitely not up on the bima.

When will I be up on the bima?
Next Shabbat or years from now when I am welcome up on the bima?

When will I be up on the bima?
When my life is taught, all of it, not just some when I am up on the bima

I see others up on the bima
There’s never beings like me up on the bima

I see others up on the bima
Then I start seeing YOU up on the bima

I am not up on the bima
But YOU are.  You’ve cut your hair, but you are not scared and YOU are up on the bima

I am up on the bima
Through your spirit because we are all one when there is someone up on the bima

I am up on the bima
Because you are there and we share not only a G-d but a pride in ourselves standing tall up on the bima

I am up on the bima
And if there is one place I belong, it’s: UP ON THE BIMA
Anya Mar 10
His hands shake as they grip the edge of the bima.

It was not always like this. Once
His fingers tapped spry and nimble,
His knuckles did not gnarl and swell,
Spots dotted his face in freckles and not his skin as it aged.
His right knee twinges. He swallows dry.
Perhaps he should visit a doctor.  It is not wise, they tell him,
For a man his age to continue his work under such pressure -- he simply laughs it off.
Pah. Meshugge, you are.
He maintains, he will manage, his kind were built to endure.

His kind have walked miles in red sand that burned the soles of their feet.
His kind have strained their eyes to see the hazy shape of hope
In lamplight that burned eight days too long;
His kind stood tall in front of kings and pharaohs and Führers
That ordered them to kneel, bow, lay dead, rot beneath ten feat of Earth.
His kind broke their backs to remain steady on their own two feet --
Who is he to fail them by resting now?

He can certainly stand on a bima, facing a congregation that has come to expect
The sound of his voice, passion in his words,
The life in his eyes glowing behind a cloud of cataracts
(I do not need to see, he claims, to recite the words of Hashem; I read with my heart.)
Like candles through a foggy window,
Tinted glass distorted,
Faint chanting ringing from within.

Kol Nidrei.
He had to break fast this morning -- God forgive me, I did not want to --
I’d rather have died. But pills must be taken.
He scans his audience and knows others must have taken pills of their own:
They are old. No one lives forever.
His joints ache as theirs do,
They too feel the weight of seventy, eighty years settled in their bones
Like rocks, like sediment,  
Shifting with the current of the river that teems above them.
Such is the will of God.
They will be carried upstream when their time comes.

Ve’esarei, ush’vuei,
A glass of water rests on the floor at his feet,
Already half drained --
Droplets still sit moist on his lips.
Vacharamei, vekonamei,
He is a humble man, as all of Hashem’s servants should be --
He is blessed with dexterity unusual for his age.
He has no cause to complain, and yet even on the day of atonement,
Deep within his chest burns pride.
He is scared.
Vekinusei, vechinuyei,
Adonai, please,
Give me the strength.
I know why I hesitate.

He fears his voice will catch in his throat --
Will waver, will break to cough,
That the silver in his tone has tarnished,
That his pitch will strain, fall flat,
That his voice is not fit to sing God’s words,
That this chant will be his last.
That he will have to stop.

Kol Nidrei. All Vows.
He is nothing but a man. He is a mouthpiece for the words that pour out of him,
That float through the synagogue as they’ve floated for years upon years.
If he silences himself, he has no purpose.
If he silences himself, he is already unfit to sing God’s words.
He must begin without fear:
His kind know how to endure without fear. It is in their blood.
His mournful voice sings for them.
He takes a breath. The congregation holds theirs.

Kol Nidrei.
Ve’esarei, ush’vuei, vacharamei, vekonamei, vekinusei, vechinuyei.
Prohibitions, oaths, consecrations, vows that we may vow --
His voice is his vow.
He vows his life, the rest of his year, however many those may be, he pledges all of them,
That he may stand before his people in front of him,
And sing to his people that lived behind him.
Kol Nidrei.
All vows.
His voice soars and echoes off of the ceiling of the synagogue.
Tizzop Nov 2019
dear black folks i
want to be white

dear white folks i
want to be black

dear biracials i want to be
black and white
at the same time

(much love to my kids)

dear jews i
want to be a muslim

dear muslims i
want to be a jew

can you help me out
brother?

can you help me out
sister?

can you help me out
rabbi?

can you help me out
habibi?

i need someone
like you folks

who is aware of
DSR
ezra Apr 2019
I love comedy, I love to laugh and smile
I’d been looking forward to this night for a while
We were seeing a funny guy crack jokes and jests
there's absolutely no reason to be stressed
Except the venue was unconventional
Great location, the seating was plentiful
I didn’t realize where we were about to go
So as we walked up my footsteps began to slow
My curly hair blew through the air
And I uttered a little prayer
Because we were walking up to something I knew very well
I’d spent my childhood in one if you couldn’t tell
The place was a synagogue in downtown DC
And all of a sudden I felt I needed to flee
I walked inside and my heart started to race
Why couldn’t they have had this in a different place?
In a flash I’m back on October twenty-seventh
Where I watched the news to see that there had been eleven
Eleven  lives lost for practicing their faith saying a prayer
“Baruch atah adonai, please help me, I’m scared”
They couldn’t escape and now neither could I
Every part of me thought I was going to die
There! A man is holding a gun!
Come on people!  You have to run!
But it was his phone, my eyes were wrong
Don’t start to cry, please be strong
But I started to cry, no I started to sob
I held my head, it started to throb
I was scared out of my mind
I decided I had to resign
My mom took me back to the car
I needed to go somewhere really far
Then, I thought I would feel shame
But instead the anger came
I used to go to a synagogue and feel love and delight
But now all I feel is my fight or flight
They took my safe space away from me
They said I can no longer just be
I have to be scared because "Jews will not replace us”
I have to run because goyim want to chase us
There were always bomb threats during the sabbath time
There were picketers with their signs up, people throwing dimes
But I was a child, never afraid
No matter what, never dismayed
But now I see the casualties climb to terrible heights
And I haven’t been to a synagogue since that night
I used to be excited to learn different melodies of the sh’ma
And then the classic chanting of the v'ahavta
But now I’ll never feel safe again
I’ll always be looking towards the amen
Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu yaaseh shalom aleinu
Part of the mourner's kaddish I now give to you
I hope there’s a long time before its said about me
But it might be soon because I am not going to flea
The next bat mitzvah I’m invited to
Whoever it’s for, I don’t care who
I’ll be dancing and I’ll be squealing
The words to the black eyed peas’ “I’ve got a feeling”
I’ll always be afraid and  I’ll always be sad
I won’t stop myself from feeling mad
But maybe instead of counting sheep
I’ll let the mi chamocha lull me to sleep
My life will not belong to the people that want it gone
So to stick it to them… I’ll just have to live on
my feelings after the tree of life shooting :(
David Abraham Jan 2019
Can you feel the power coursing through you,
disguised as adrenaline,
when you swing your arm and before the blow even hits,
you feel all your anger and frustration fade, so now all you want is to fight?
You wanna kick and pitch a fit,
till your old ****** arms
are covered up by new scars,
but nothing like that matters because you're the last man standing.
Maybe the other boy, curled up on the ground now
with his arms thrown over his head,
broke your nose and made it even more crooked than before,
but you're the little freak who no one thought could win.
But you entered in
from a world where everyone called you ****
to be the freak who everyone only saw as a ****,
thin-shouldered and quieter than the boys he fought.

Maybe your quietness and meek, weak, malnourished look fooled you and all of them,
for look into your eyes in the mirror and see the gold and brown fighting through the green sheen,
the fire for everything you hate, all the things you're hitting and spitting on when you're through with them,
and when you stare into your own eyes you might recognize yourself.

Don't be fooled, boy, you're weak and you're sick,
your arms aren't thick
which muscle and dark hair,
and nothing about you is real,
with fabricated reactions and premeditated sentences,
all programmed into your brain, which fights itself in its confusion,
screaming, and smoking from the fight with itself, about what should be happening with your emptiness and with your bony chest.

Boy, you're hardly that,
just a *** who stares after the other guys,
but you're not sure if you're gay, because you really just want to be just like them.
Boy, at least you fall for pretty girls,
shorter and daintier than you, with more mellow hearts but stronger emotions,
and passions for poetry (not the kind you possess, rooted in your inability for expressions)
and always with love for another boy, a real boy to grow into a man.
2242 jan 15 2019

my mom and oldest sister like hate men but here i am, wanting desperately to grow into a man... this is addressed to myself 'cause i'm a freak to almost everyone and a large amount of people 'round here don't like jews like me.
David Abraham Jan 2019
I remember my dreams of a holy place,
a library where I ran, just a little boy with other boys,
with a great stained glass window filling up the space
on the pointed ceiling above the sacred text
that left me perplexed
and mouthing a few syllables when I could understand,
and wishing to feel the soft cloth on my head,
over a short haircut that I didn't have.

I can't truly say if it was a dream,
but I remember walking outside into the desert with those little boys, feeling jealous of their kippahs,
and eventually we stopped at what I thought might be like a stream,
but was only a canal in the wasteland.
The tumbleweeds whispered and rattled,
but no snakes slid out of them with a tail that rattled quite the same.

I grew up though, far away now,
with the heavy weight of knowledge on my back
and the feeling of sweat on my brow.
I have heard a lot, and that soundless world where I spent all of my time looking and none of my time listening
is gone. I listen and I look now,
and I tell a girl about my observations
while she marvels and tells me what to do with them,
but there is nothing much to become
when despite my ambition
I hold myself back with the most unholy things.
2318 jan 10 2019
maggie W Dec 2018
I don't wanna kiss you under the mistletoe
Cause I only know you for two months and you're a Jewish boy,

I like talking to you about things, ABCDEFG
I'm not as complicated as you think
Nor is affection or feelings as you claimed it to be

Talk to me just like you're singing one two three
Politics, trade wars and tariffs
Don't talk to me about numbers or statistics
I only wanna get lost in your water blue eyes as you speak

No, I won't interrupt you this time
I will let you speak
Take off your blazer and ties
I will make you some veggie dish

Don't talk to me about Hanukkah, figures and power point slides
Why don't you push all the writings aside
I'll light your Menorah and make you mine
Take off my dress and get naughty not nice

Talk to me about the things I wanna hear
Things that's as easy as ABC
One two three
Shanah Tovah/Hallelujah
Kiss me till it stings
Hey Ross I wanna make out with you again
Emerson Nosreme Nov 2018
i have been here for a very long time since the start
i have been watching everyone
charge at us
with sticks, stone, weapons and words
giants, gas, fire, fury
bombs and chains

but they vanished. or they learnt to love us
some study us like aliens
because they are fascinated
(but aren't we all fascinated in mysteries?)

i am as confused as them
i should be gone
but i rose like a pheonix from fire.
everyone says it's a miracle. but they don't tell me
why am i here?
'what is the secret to his immortality?' - Mark Twain, talking about the jews.
Ron Gavalik Nov 2018
After the most abhorrent violence,
during times of misery and sorrow,
a wise man will sit in a dark room
and reflect on his truths.
In rage, he will curl his fingers
into the tightest fists.
In sadness, he will weep
for all that has been lost.
In his chair, the wise man will drink
his whiskey, and then he will stand up
and fight back against the hate.

-Ron Gavalik
My city. My community. My life and my love.
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