Delicious – a poem for Parsha Sh’lach (Aliyah 6)

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The first portion of your dough, you shall separate a loaf for a gift . . .

Every Friday afternoon my wife comes home from
the Jewish institution of learning where she spends
her days filling hearts and souls with song with
a challah in hand.

This wasn’t written into her contract, but rather
comes from the original contract delivered
in the desert during forty years of wandering
between Sinai and the promised land.

This challah will turn into French toast by the
miracle of her hands and a knowledge that isn’t,
per se Jewish, but is so ingrained and perfect,
it might as well, also have come from Sinai.

On a good week, when we haven’t forgotten
to remember the Sabbath, as we are continually
reminded, we’ll find ourselves at another
Jewish institution to say our words and sing our songs

which, invariable, will culminate with another
set of two challahs. We will bless them, and we
will eat them, and everyone present will look
into each other eyes as the pieces go into our mouths

with an understanding of how good we have it.
Not everyone has it so good, so we divide this bounty
into two and reserve half for anyone whose means
doesn’t match the desires of their stomachs.

There is an ancient precise formula for this
but I say more is more and suggest we
give everything we can. If flour and water and
yeast and egg come easy to you…

if the joy of kneading and twisting dough is
one you frequent . . . if you have the patience
to let it rise, remembering the time, not too long ago
when we had to rush out of town . . .

Then make a double portion for your mouth
and soul  . . . and anyone nearby with the same.
Add raisins and sesame seeds if that’s your thing.
There’s no mitzvah more delicious than this.

These poems are offered free for your enjoyment. If you use them as part of an event, meeting, educational or liturgical setting, please consider tipping the author.

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