fbpx
Thursday, August 6, 2020

Everybody Counts – a poem for Torah Portion Bamidbar

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

This was [the sum of] the children… the firstborn of Israel,
…all who were fit to go out to the army.

It’s a census year and I’ve already given
the government all the information.
They know the number of souls
quarantined in these walls.
They know the color of our skin,
our ages and, through extrapolation, they could
probably figure out who is the tallest.
I don’t know why they’d need that,
but many of the ways of this particular
group of people who fancy themselves
in charge are a mystery to me
when they’re not making me angry.
It’s not all bad. They sent us all checks
with a note that essentially read
we’re so sorry you’re stuck inside
buy yourself something nice, or
maybe groceries. I suppose they
wouldn’t have known where to send
the check, or that we existed at all
as people who should be sent a check
if I hadn’t taken the census.
Does one take a census?
Or answer it? Or fill it in?
Since the census only comes
once every ten years, shouldn’t
we throw it a party? Can I put up
census decorations?
I can tell you this, even though they
know who I am, I’m not going into the army.
Even though I’ve aged out and
they don’t want me. I’m not going.
I am counting and counted.
Like my ancestors an entire history ago.
Setting up civilization at the bottom
of a mountain. It’s about time I
used the word mountain again.


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 23 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 “Hunka Hunka Howdee!” (Poems written in Memphis, Nashville, and Louisville – Ain’t Got No Press, May 2019) 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.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Latest Articles

USC President Calls Student VP Resignation Letter ‘Heartbreaking,’ Says Anti-Semitism ‘Has No Place at the University’

"What happened to Rose Ritch is unacceptable, and we must all take up her challenge to do better.”

Obituaries: Aug. 7, 2020

Maureen Altman died July 15 at 72. Survived by brother Ross. Hillside Mae Augarten died July 7 at 96. Survived by daughter Lori; sons Lee,...

British Cabinet Office Says It’s Reviewing Wiley’s MBE After Anti-Semitic Tweets

The office said the award can be revoked if the recipient has engaged in “behavior that is deemed to bring the honors system into disrepute.”

Elliott Abrams Named Envoy on Iran Issues

He is replacing Brian Hook.

Words are All We’ve Got: A Poem for Torah Portion Eikev

Beware that you do not forget the Lord, your God… …who fed you manna in the desert I think this is what Joni Mitchell had in...

Dallas Prayer Service ‘Zoom Bombed’ With Messages Including ‘Kill All Jews, Bomb Israel’

One of the rabbis on the Zoom call said, "This is what Tisha B’Av looks like in the year 2020."

Virtual Theater: ‘Fugu’ Tells Little-Known Holocaust Story

"Fugu" is based on the little-known history of how Japan sheltered 6,000 Lithuanian Jewish refugees in the city of Kobe, to protect them from the Nazis.

Couple Whose Parents Survived Holocaust Discover Swastika, Nazi Bolts on Fence in Australia

"This sight turned my stomach and made me furious that in this day and age, we still have people advocating for genocide."

Culture

Virtual Theater: ‘Fugu’ Tells Little-Known Holocaust Story

"Fugu" is based on the little-known history of how Japan sheltered 6,000 Lithuanian Jewish refugees in the city of Kobe, to protect them from the Nazis.

‘A League of Their Own’ Gets TV Remake Starring Abbi Jacobson, D’Arcy Carden

Amazon Studios is turning “A League of Their Own” into an hour-long series from creator and star Abbi Jacobson who will executive produce with Will Graham.

5 Budget-Friendly Decorating Necessities for At-Home Schooling

Here are some great décor additions that will make your online classroom setup more efficient — and even fun.

‘Nazi Menace’ Serves as Timely History Lesson

Hett usefully observes that by studying history, perhaps we are not condemned to repeat it.

Latest Articles
Latest

USC President Calls Student VP Resignation Letter ‘Heartbreaking,’ Says Anti-Semitism ‘Has No Place at the University’

"What happened to Rose Ritch is unacceptable, and we must all take up her challenge to do better.”

Obituaries: Aug. 7, 2020

Maureen Altman died July 15 at 72. Survived by brother Ross. Hillside Mae Augarten died July 7 at 96. Survived by daughter Lori; sons Lee,...

British Cabinet Office Says It’s Reviewing Wiley’s MBE After Anti-Semitic Tweets

The office said the award can be revoked if the recipient has engaged in “behavior that is deemed to bring the honors system into disrepute.”

Elliott Abrams Named Envoy on Iran Issues

He is replacing Brian Hook.

Hollywood

Roy Moore’s Lawsuit Against Sacha Baron Cohen Over Being Pranked Can Proceed, Judge Rules

By the time the episode aired, it was widely known that Cohen was punking public figures.

‘Expecting Amy’ Highlights a New Comedy Dynamic of Jewish Mothers Making, Not Being, the Jokes

Jewish moms like Amy Schumer, who were once the material, have become the premier comics of this age.

Podcasts

The Mastermind Behind Netanyahu’s New Media (Topaz Luk)

Even prime ministers can’t do everything by themselves. They must surround themselves with dedicated, smart and excellent people who will help them.

Pandemic Times Episode 75: What is the Secret to Jewish Resiliency?

New David Suissa Podcast Every Monday and Friday. Reflections on the worsening times and how the Jewish approach to resiliency can guide us. How do we...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x