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God and Moses are Keeping Secrets – A poem for Parsha Vaera (Aliyah 1)

God and Moses are Keeping Secrets - A poem for Parsha Vaera (Aliyah 1) by Rick Lupert
[additional-authors]
January 3, 2019

I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob with [the name]
Almighty God, but [with] My name YHWH, I did not become known to them.

If God walked amongst us,
what would we call him or her?
What name would we use if God
was sitting two bar stools away?

Who’s your friend? they’d ask
and we’d stutter like Moses
realizing we never knew.
What have we been calling

God this whole time
when we cry out, when we
ask for things? Who are
you talking to we deserve

to be asked and, I think we
deserve to know the answer too.
I’m not a big fan of labels, but
I do like names.

I think it’s time we learned Yours.

How then will Pharaoh hearken to me,
seeing that I am of closed lips?

You have to wonder with
God’s hidden name as his example
if Moses’ closed lips are just him
keeping secrets and not

a stutter after all? What isn’t Moses
prepared to tell the Pharaoh?
He smells like the Nile or the
details of future plagues have

already been written down.
I’d keep my lips closed too if
I had infinite frogs ready to go.
The best negotiators use their

words sparingly. Any deal a
gamble with what is truly available.
I say keep your lips closed and
your frogs close to your chest.

Your people will be crossing the sea
in no time.


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 21 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 “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) 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.

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