How We Learn on Saturday Morning

Here in the heart line
the omphalos
we have just finished learning
it’s snowing outside
and I am taking a breath
before braving the elements
with my trusty


At home the samovar is lit
and that Russian chai with just the touch of smoke
will warm me when I return from the cold.

What we learned this morning —
the hora
hava nagila and who is responsible
the niggunic recovery of hava nagila
start wearing purple
wearing purple all the time
the greatest of the Jewish musicologists and how he did not lie
how one of his students may have [lied]
how we welcomed Balfour into Jerusalem
how we make peace face to face
the cessation of hostilities that precedes peace
how peace may rise from the kitchen
Rashi’s plan for peace
Jewish and Palestinian stories for peace
how to keep your mouth shut when it’s called for
the difference between keeping your mouth shut and feeling frustrated
and saying something and feeling worse
Joseph’s transformative oration
Joseph as a kid
Joseph as the center of the universe
Joseph as a holy man
how to pick a Joseph and speak in his voice
the origin of catbird seat
the catbird itself which is a grey bird similar to the mockingbird
and known in West Virginia and other locations of the great southern United States

come on Gracie old steed
loyal beast

let us go now, you and I.

jsg, usa