My Heart is in the East

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Although most of my heart is in this room
There is a part of it that lives in the east.

My heart is in the East
My heart has always been in the east

Once on a trip to New York City, I visited
the old Jewish neighborhoods in the Lower East Side

When the Jews moved to New York City, they gravitated
towards the east their hearts were in the east

On another trip, to London, I took a walking tour of
its old Jewish neighborhood also in the east of that city

When Jews came to London, they also settled in its East
Their hearts are in the east

No matter how far west we’ve been sent,
we always situate ourselves in the East Our hearts are in the east

When I took students to Israel, to show them the place for the first time
they thought they were bringing their hearts with them

Weren’t they surprised to find them already there
beating on the tarmac of Lod,

growing out of the soil under the trees illuminating the golden stone,
Their hearts are in the east

My heart is in the east in the faces of the sabras, in the weight
of the desert rocks, in the sweetness of its fruit

My heart is with them, in the east these impossible beings
living every day just to live.

My heart in the east pays no attention to the lines which separate
this neighborhood from that one.

My heart in the east ignores the obscene barriers
constructed to separate human from human

My heart in the east is an open tent, my family home,
I’ll gladly share with anyone proclaiming peace as their anthem

My heart was in the east in the beginning, when they invented the east
When God said, Hey, why not check out the east, I’ll make it worth your while

My heart is in the east tomorrow, where time has no meaning
Where the heat and the cold hold hands, where our history is our memory

My heart is in the east with the kids who just wanted to
go to the desert to hear some music, and their families

and our families.
At this moment, my heart is in the east

At this moment,
my heart is in the east

When I am in Los Angeles, I am in the east
When I am in Oconomowoc, I am in the east

My heart is always in the East. Sometimes I visit it (and)
Listen to it beat to the beautiful silence of the Sabbath streets

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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