Monday, September 17, 2012

Poem for Rosh Hashanah and Family Dinner

Jerusalem, 1967
By Yehuda Amichai
Translated by Richard Silverstein

On Yom Kippur 5728, I donned
Dark holiday clothing and walked to Jerusalem's Old City.
I stood for quite a while in front of the kiosk shop of an Arab,
Not far from the Nablus Gate, a shop
full of buttons, zippers and spools of thread
Of every color; and snaps and buckles.
Brightly lit and many colored like the open Holy Ark.

I said to him in my heart that my father too
Owned a shop just like this of buttons and thread.
I explained to him in my heart about all the decades
And the reasons and the events leading me to be here now
While my father's shop burned there and he is buried here.

When I concluded it was the hour of N'eilah
He too drew down the shutters and locked the gate
As I returned homeward with all the other worshippers.


Quickie because we just got back from returning Daniel to College Park -- he has classes on Monday despite the Jewish holiday, and we spent the afternoon and evening with my in-laws and parents celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Paul's parents arrived mid-afternoon, we concluded that we did not have time to go apple-picking and instead went to Locust Grove to hike, picking up Adam's girlfriend on the way. Then we went to my parents for dinner, which was yummy, and celebrated Daniel's birthday since he won't be home on the actual day:

It was a very up-and-down sports day...well, mostly down. Not only did the Redskins lose, but the Ravens lost to the Eagles, whom I loathe for their quarterback and which is also bad for the Redskins. Plus the Vikings lost, the Patriots lost, and in baseball news, the Yankees won, though so did the Orioles. And it looks like the Nationals are going to lose to Atlanta. Oh well, as I said at dinner I'd trade any sports victory this fall for the election not being stolen. L'shana tovah if you celebrate!

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