One for the Artists — A poem for Parsha Vayakhel-Pekudei (Aliyah 3)

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And he made the menorah of pure gold; of hammered work he made the menorah

Exodus 37:17

He is Bezalel, an artist.
Because the foundation of
any good society is its artists.

The Menorah, our first symbol.
It came before the star. A spot for
every day of the week –

One in the middle for the
day of rest, on which no flame
shall be made.

Most of us confuse this
with the one for Hanukkah
which has nine spots for light

and is spelled in
all the ways you can imagine.
It’s not easy explaining Judaism

when our symbols overlap –
when there’s a different holiday
for every time the wind blows

and an extra one that
comes every week, that,
despite the constant reminders

we keep forgetting to celebrate.
This is why we need the Menorah.
This is why it’s so specific how it looks.

So when Friday comes along
a golden beam will tell us what to do.
And if we forget, and we will forget,

the text will remind us again and again.
He is Bezalel, an artist. What he made
has always given light.

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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