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New Holy Days – A poem for Parsha Emor

The Lord’s appointed [holy days] that you shall designate as holy occasions. These are My appointed [holy days]:
– Leviticus 23:2

And God spoke to Moses, who spoke to me
through a long series of messages passed on
from person to person, like a game of Telephone
that has been going on forever.

For six days you will work, unless you live in the west
in which case you will only work for five, unless
you are a Jewish professional, in which case
some weekends and evenings may be required.

And on the tenth day, of the tenth month
you shall celebrate the poet’s birthday by
buying his books, and writing positive reviews
on The Amazon and sending offerings of
freshly baked goods. (Gluten is okay.)

And you shall bring a fire offering, and
place the fire inside an outside pizza oven
because, lo, the pizza is not good where you live
although there are other benefits such as
a lovely view and a nearby mule farm.

And you shall count the days between haircuts
and acknowledge, your favorite haircutter
no longer works at the salon and this is why
your son’s hair has grown to 1969 lengths
because no-one wants to start over with
a different haircutter.

And a meal offering shall be brought
but take care to take turns in a family setting
as no one wants to cook every day and
the weight of having to decide what to eat,
or what to cook, or what to order
is too much for any one family member.

And any kitten who walks by outside
harken! shall be brought inside, whether or not
it is unblemished, and it shall be given
full house privileges for all of its
natural and furry life.

And you shall dare not cut the rose bushes
planted by the warrior who lived in your house
before the paperwork put you in control.
Even though he lives by a lake in North Carolina now,
these flowers, teeming with all the possible colors
are a memory of what he did, and how he lived.
And he shall never be forgotten.


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 25 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 “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express” (Poems written in Japan – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2020) 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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