Thursday, January 28, 2021

Poem: The Five Things You Must Know About Rosh Hashanah

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This is only one of four Jewish New Years.
We also have one for trees
one for redemption from slavery
and one for cattle.
So don’t worry if you sleep through this one
Another one is bound to come along
sooner or later.
We Jews are always making backup plans.


Apples can be red or green
Apples are sweet
If it weren’t for apples, gravity would be a mystery
We’d still be stuck inside a garden somewhere
wondering what to call the animals.
We owe apples everything, dip one in honey
so you can feel that gratitude on your tongue.


Let’s move on to pomegranates.
Also red. If it’s not red yet, be patient.
Have you ever cracked open a pomegranate?
You’re going to want to lay down some plastic.
It gets messy. You’ll find seeds inside.
One for every rule you forget to follow.
You’ve still got time. Yom Kippur is right around the corner.
Put a pomegranate side in your mouth
and say you’re sorry. Do this 613 times.
Now you’re getting it.


Do you hear that sound?
It’s not a foghorn, it’s not a train whistle
It’s not a sign that dinner is on the way.
It’s a shofar. It comes from a ram.
Don’t let his sacrifice be in vein.
You’re going to hear this a lot over the next 10 days.
Let it be a call to action.
Don’t forget what we said about the pomegranate seeds.
Now’s your chance.


Kiss and hug everyone you know
(or do that as soon as social distancing allows).
It’s the birthday of the world.
This is your cake.
Shanah tovah!

Rick Lupert, a poet, songleader and graphic designer, is the author of
25 books including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion.”

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