Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Cleaning Achnai's Oven"

This is the linkback perk for the April 3, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl, originally hosted by Dreamwidth user dialecticdreamer. It came out of the March 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Dreamwidth user Librarygeek.


"Cleaning Achnai's Oven"


People look at Israel
and shake their heads
because it is such a mess.

Well, that happens when
a people have been abused
for thousands of years;
it bends their heads a bit.

Judaism is not perfect --
nothing in the world but G-d
can be perfect -- and that's okay.

Tikkun olam, pick up the pieces and
put them together as best you can.

You can see the problem clearly
in people's baked-on beliefs, like
the crust befouling an oven.

Then there is nothing to be done
but to give the oven a good cleaning.

You can see it in the rigidity of
thought, like a computer program
trapping itself in a loop of bad logic.

Then there is nothing to be done
but to debug the program.

If the child says that neither
a Bar Mitzvah nor a Bat Mitzvah
will fit, then throw a B'nai Mitzvah
instead; only let it be done.

If a woman wants to become
a rabbi, then let her argue her case;
let her place an orange on the seder plate;
only let the Pesach be kept.

There is no need to be
trapped in the past, when
the past does not serve the present.

The program of what Judaism
means is adapting, because adaptation is
the first and the last and the best skill of survival.

We're all breaking free of certain bonds
while accepting and reaffirming others, and
discovering ourselves while helping other people.

We are cleaning Achnai's oven together.
We are combing the old code smooth.

Judaism is not perfect, but it
is coming closer every day.

G-d laughs and laughs, capering
around a cloud while kvelling,

"My children have outwitted me!"

* * *

Notes:

Read about Achnai's oven.

Tikkun olam means "world repair."

Passover is a holiday that features the seder plate.  Adding an orange is a modern tradition.

Kvelling
feel or express pride, "to be extraordinarily pleased" (JPS)
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing
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