Raza de Hanukkah 7

Raza de Hanukkah 7

These are all our children
— President Obama, December 14, 2012

On the seventh night there was a halt in festivities
And the question:

What is it?
Took on a new sense:

Something terrible happened in our land
Something so broken.

We considered how we came to be this way
How we could become something else;

To find a way
Out of our breakage;

We are all implicated
It’s all of us and it’s everything;

We had to become willing to sit in our sadness
Resist the simple and the fragmented —

To find our silence
And mourn for those who lost.

jsg, usa

Small alef; poetry Miketz 1

I know dreams
I know dreams imply blessings.

The journey to Egypt with the spice merchants
the darkest time in my life
it smelled sweet all the way down
some sort of sign —
do not despair;

You are never
Lost to Me.

I am spinning through the darkest part of my story
smelling sweet

and when I see my brothers
I will bless them
I say:
it was not you who sent me here
but G*d.

How do you know this? my brothers will ask

I smelled it, I will say
and they will think

I’m nuts.

Small aleph; poetry
Maqam* Sigah
[tri-chord: e half-flat f g]

Small alef; miketz 2

Month of dreams
Joseph the bridge person —
between patriarchs and tribes,

the harvester
the one who harvests events
for meaning.

He has become more

I don’t interpret dreams —
G*d does
, he says. [41:16]

Still, his gift gives him power
the power of memory —

I remember dreams,
he says, [42:9]

[that he dreams at all
means he’s sleeping well]

the rest of us are fidgeting in bed
Joseph; part prophet

Dreaming; 1/60th of prophecy anyway,
with the need for prophecy these days,

1/60th is nothing to sneeze at.

jsg, usa

small alef; poetry
Maqam* Sigah, tri-chord:
e half-flat f g

Raza de Hanukkah 6

The war or the oil —
What’s the miracle.

The addict with two days
Says to the addict with one day:
Come on, you can do this.

That’s the miracle.
In this time

What brings the miracles together:
Giving from the soul

The miracle of light
The miracle of battle;

It’s a war for the Light —

A real battle.

jsg, usa

Raza de Hanukkah 5

The miracle is the oil
Not the vessel
The vessel–
Tin plated over iron rods;

The oil is inwardliness
The light is inwardliness;

Now take everything out of your pockets
Take off those fancy boots
That shirt with the pearl buttons —
Take it off;

Put it in a pile in the middle of the floor
Look at it until what rises is real;

That’s you.

jsg, usa

BT, Menachot 28b
Rav Kook, Igrot HaRe’iyah

Father Thought

Father thought he was going to settle down
I love this part –

so he sent me after my brothers.

I couldn’t find them but
I go when called
Hineni I say
entirely here
but I wouldn’t make so much out of that
I don’t have the energy to be anywhere else –

my present is demanding enough
to require my full attention —
know what I mean?

Gotta go,


Small alef; Vayeishev 1
Maqam Nahawand