Face Time – A poem for Parsha Ha’azinu (Aliyah 4)

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And He said, "I will hide My face from them…”

Deuteronomy 32:20

Yes.
No.
I don’t know.

Those are the three answers
my students used to give me when
I’d asked them if they believed in God.

The followup question, after they
filled those three columns, was always
who’s right?

This led to an hour long conversation
in which nothing was decided and thus
mimicking how our government works.

It gets more complicated, when
in the second to last chapter, of the entire
scroll of chapters full of reminders

to do what were told by the
Grand Teller of things to do, he/she says
I will hide My Face from them.

The future is foretold in which we will
have strayed and God will not be around
to consume anyone with fire.

Thousands of years later we’re
struggling to see signs of the flames.
Why do what we’re told when

the face of the Teller is hidden?
It used to be, no one would dare to think,
let alone say out loud, no, or I don’t know,

or even maybe. It was always a
resounding YES, even if we decided to
take our own path.

Either the Face has been hidden for so long
or we forgot how to see it. If you’re at all skeptical
May I suggest you look into the face

of any other human being?
If you tune your eyes right,
what is hidden is not.

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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