Block Party With the Canaanites – A poem for Parsha Mishpatim

It's time we got together.
February 8, 2024
Shannon Fagan/Getty Images

For My angel will go before you, and bring you to the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivvites, and the Jebusites, and I will destroy them. ~Exodus 23:23

Thank You for sending the angel.
Regarding the Amorites, would it be possible
to arrange a lunch before You destroy them?
I’d like to get to know them and I’ve found
food can ease any situation.

As to the Hittites, do we know if it’s a school day?
I’d hate to destroy them while their children are
at school, especially if an alternate carpool
hasn’t been arranged.

Regarding the Perizzites – Are they related
to the Syracuse Perizzites? I recall my
uncle mentioning them once. He said
they were good people.

Also, I’m confused about the Canaanites.
Isn’t it called the land of Canaan? I feel if
a land is named after a people, we should
at least figure out how to share it with them.

The Hivvites shouldn’t be a problem either.
They live in the north and can probably
teach us how to best commingle with
that climate after all these years we’re
about to spend in the desert.

Finally, what did the Jebusites ever do to us?
I don’t see anything in the text. Did they
take up all the parking spaces? Not
put their bins away after trash day?
I think we should hold off on eliminating
them from the Earth as well. At least
until we have all the information.

Let’s invite them all to the meal with
the Amorites. Break bread instead of necks.
Thank you again for sending the angel.
We’ll set a place for them too.
Everybody has to eat.

Rick Lupert, a poet, songleader and graphic designer, is the author of 27 books including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion.” Find him online at www.JewishPoetry.net

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