Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Mipnei Tikkun Ha'olam"

This is the linkback poem for the May 3, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl, which was written as spillover from the April 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from DW users Capriuni and Shiori_makiba. It also fills the "Ma'oz Tzur" square in my 7-1-15 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo fest.   This poem belongs to the series Clay of Life, which you can find via my Serial Poetry page.

All 15 verses have been posted. Linkers include: technoshaman, wyld_dandelyon, DW user Alatefeline, DW user Shiori_makiba, mdlbear, kestrels_nest, DW user Helgatwb


Mipnei Tikkun Ha’olam


Menachem the blacksmith
drove into a large town and
declared, "We will stay here
for a while. It is nearly time
for Chanukkah, and the snow
is making travel more difficult."

Yossele the golem smiled
and nodded. He had never
been allowed to celebrate
Chanukkah before, and
looked forward to it.

The townspeople were not
so welcoming, however.

Oh, they were happy enough
to have the work of a golem
making the blacksmith's line
move quicker, but when it
came time for the festival,
they tried to turn him away.

"That is not a real man,"
they said. "That is nothing
but a clay statue given
false semblance of life."

"Yossele may not have been
born of woman, but he was made
of clay just like Adam," said Menachem.
"Besides, he ran away from his old master
because he was not allowed to rest on
the Shabbat, as is right and proper."

"What has that got to do with
anything?" said the townspeople.

"Mipnei tikkun ha’olam,"
said Menachem, "any one who
is capable of following the Torah
must be permitted to do so."

They could not very well argue
with that, and so Yossele was
allowed to attend the festival.

He watched the lighting of
the menorah that Menachem
had made, and listened to
the recital of the berakhot.

He could not sing "Ma'oz Tzur,"
but he banged his hand on a barrel
and kept time with the song.

The children taught Yossele
how to play the dreidel game,
which he enjoyed a great deal
and was surprisingly good at.

The women fried latkes and
many other foods in hot oil.

Two rabbis read from the Torah
and then discussed the meanings
of their respective passages,
while Yossele listened in awe.

In the end, the townspeople
had to admit that even though
Yossele had not been born
a Jew in the usual way, he
made a very good one.

* * *

Notes:

"Mipnei tikkun ha'olam" means roughly "for the good of the world."  It refers to things done and interpretations made so that society may continue in working order.

Chanukkah is a Jewish holiday.

"Ma'oz Tzur" is a traditional Jewish song.

Enjoy some Torah readings for Channukah.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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