Thu, 07/31/2014 - 11:50 -- emet

What do you stand for
if you don't stand in prayer?
We can't eat bagels everyday.
A tallis is no scarf.
For the secular Jew,
Israel is the new religion.
The drum beats out – stand for your people,
your people are Israel.
More constant than the bombs
that explode over Gaza:
stand for your people,
your people are Israel.
Israel, where the door is always open and
the hearth light always on.
Israel means the place to go
when there is nowhere to go,
when the world frowns and in Europe
they mob the Jew-owned stores,
and a Kippah feels like a led weight
and for the Mourner's Kaddish, too many people stand.
If I say say I stand for peace
I stand for apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah
and matza ball soup on Passover
and say that Jews haven't cornered the market
when it comes to suffering,
if I stand for a lit menorah in the window on Hanukkah,
and Challah on the Sabbath, because it tastes good
and I say that when we rise and link arms for the Hine Ma Tov,
these are the only people I stand with --
then I do not stand for a cause any human being
would die for – or should – no cause to break windows
or run into gun fire.
No cause to forget every story we learn,
from Night to Anne Frank,
from Auschwitz to Warsaw
and wish death upon a nation of people.
#Gaza, and I see the Hebrew letters
I've have only ever seen in prayer books
and the Torah.
Some one has translated –
'The only good Arab is an Arab in the grave'
says a person they say is my people.
If I don't stand for Israel and I
don't pray to El Tsaddik, the righteous God,
then maybe I am no Jew
and I stand for nothing.
But at least I stand somewhere
that isn't soaked with blood.

Tallis – Jewish prayer shawl, worn during morning prayers
Kippah – Jewish cap, worn during prayer, or outside of it
Mourner's Kaddish – a prayer spoken by a mourner, who stands
Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish new year
Matza ball soup – a traditional Passover dish
Passover – Jewish holiday to celebrate the Jews' escape from slavery in Egypt, during which no leavened bread is eaten, but instead traditional matza, unleavened bread
Hanukkah – Jewish holiday commemorating the miracle of oil burning for eight days, when it should have only lasted one.
Menorah – Jews light a menorah, a nine branched candelabrum, to celebrate Hanukkah
Challah – braided bread eaten by many cultures, but especially eaten by Jews on the Sabbath
The Sabbath -the Jewish day of rest, beginning Friday night and ending Saturday night
Hine Ma Tov – Jewish hymn, translated: “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Night – a book by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel
Anne Frank – a victim of the Holocaust, made famous by her book, The Diaries of Anne Frank
Auschwitz and Warsaw – concentration-camps, or “death camps” during the Holocaust


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