October 21, 2019

Is a Curtain Our Best Security Option? – A Poem for Parsha Acharei Mot

Speak to your brother Aaron, that he should not come at all times into the Holy within
the dividing curtain, in front of the cover that is upon the ark, so that he should not die

I’m trying to parse this warning and
it’s come down to a curtain rod
between me and death.

How is the curtain labeled?
Will it be obvious to me that I should’t
pull it aside?

What if my brother hadn’t had
the chance to pass on the message?
Do I get a do-over…a second chance?

I realize the technology of the day
was limited, but couldn’t it have been
a solid door with a lock?

How about a stack of stones?
It seems stones were plentiful at the time.
A curtain seems too I want to see

what’s on the other side.
It reminds me of the time I ordered
a personal pizza and asked if

it came with a curtain.
The server didn’t talk to me again
for the rest of the meal.

I just think if my own death is at stake
they should put up an armed guard.
I’m against guns, but it seems you

can’t have a Jewish
institution, these days,
without them.

…for I appear over the ark cover in a cloud.

A cloud is the right way to go.
The tangible is so much better
than faith.


God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 22 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Beautiful Mistakes” (Rothco Press, May 2018) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.