Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "I Made You Out of Clay"

This poem came out of the November 8, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "fun" square in my 10-4-16 card for the Games and Sports Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Clay of Life, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.


"I Made You Out of Clay"


After Chanukkah,
Yossele the golem kept
the dreidel that he had gotten
from the potter in the town.

He often took it out to play with,
watching the little toy spin and dance.

"You really love that thing,"
Menachem observed.

Yossele grinned and nodded.

"I wonder why," Menachem said.
"Most of us only play with them
during the Chanukkah season."

Yossele tapped the dreidel
and then tapped his own chest.

"I made you out of clay,"
Menachem quoted softly.
"You like the dreidel
because it was made
from clay, just like you."

Yossele nodded. Then
he reached out and tapped
Menachem the same way.

"And I am descended from Adam,
whom G-d made from clay,"
the blacksmith said. "All of
Creation is connected through
the work of His hands."

Smiling, Yossele handed
the dreidel to Menachem.

"For one who does not speak,
I think you understand the Torah
surprisingly well," Menachem said.

He spun the dreidel and watched
as it skittered over the ground,
sharing in the fun.

"I often think about how we came
to meet," he said. "At first I thought
it was just coincidence, but now I think
that it was bashert, meant to be."

Yossele pointed at the sky.

"Yes, they say that coincidence is
just G-d's way of remaining anonymous,"
Menachem said with a warm chuckle.

The golem reached out a long arm
and pulled him into a hug.

They had an odd little family, but
Menachem would not have traded it
for a house in Jerusalem itself.

* * *
Notes:

"Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel"
I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.
When it's dry and ready, with dreidel I shall play.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, with dreidel I shall play …
My dreidel's always playful. It loves to dance and spin.
A happy game of dreidel, come play now let's begin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it loves to dance and spin.
Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. Come play now let's begin.
-- Chanukkah Quotes

A dreidel is a four-sided top, often made of clay. Polymer clay works too. Yossele's dreidel looks like this. Learn how to play the game.

1. “In Jewish history there are no coincidences.” – Elie Wiesel
If you would have asked me my favorite Yiddish word, I would have said bashert. It translates into the idea that Wiesel so beautifully captured as aphorism in my favorite quote. The older I get the more I am astonished by its truth, both in a national as well as personal sense. The seemingly haphazard, random, and arbitrary events that comprise the story of our lives begin to form a coherent and purposeful narrative when we view them from a divine perspective. With the wisdom of retrospective insight I have countless times learned to acknowledge that coincidence is but God’s way of choosing to remain anonymous.
-- Rabbi Benjamin Blech

Bashert can refer to a "soulmate" or other things that are "meant to be."

Because so much of Jewish culture centers around home life, family and friendship are very important. Judaism speaks of many alternative families.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, holiday, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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