We Called It Manna – A poem for Parsha Beshalach (Aliyah 6)

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The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, [it was] white, and it tasted like a wafer with honey.

On the far side of the sea
after the waters had closed
after the dance was done

after our eyes opened with
a freedom hangover, our bodies
reminded us we had to eat.

No market in sight.
Not even at the mountain, yet.
Take out and delivery – unconceived.

Our food came from the sky.
Quail in the afternoon and, we called it,
manna in the morning.

We didn’t know what it was
but somehow knew its name.
Exactly enough for all –

No more. No less.
More than we needed on the sixth day
so we could take the seventh off.

Eons later we still don’t know
what it was. Our only clues
coriander, white, honey.

Mix those ingredients together and
maybe we’ve got something close.
There’s no way to know.

The jug of it we saved (is that a clue?
who keeps bread in a jug?) lost to the
generations it was saved for.

We’re still looking for it, this sky bread
this exactly what we need, this forty years
of sustenance in the desert.

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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