Ἰάκωβος


My mother used to take me as a boy
To watch the men construct the booths they used
Each year. With citron wed to palm, they’d pray
To stay in God’s shadow, virtually fused
To it, much as the tented rafters stood
Their canvas to the sun. A week would pass.
After lashing leafy thongs to slats of wood,
They’d break them down again without a trace.

But we who once had witnessed such events
Are struck speechless here. His mandorla white
As sun that strikes the temple’s peak, and yet
To mark the moment – Do what? Build some tents?
We think in terms of time…. Time. Does it cross
Our minds that something greater takes its place?

Comments

  1. Nice painting; nice poem.

  2. Like it. Although a Midrash would be helpfu—for me, anyway. “To stay in God’s shadow” is especially striking.

    • Much of the first part alludes to the Sukkot. I actually had the privilege of being present at a celebration of this feast in, of all places, Broken Bow, Oklahoma, while teaching at an Orthodox Jewish school. It is quite impressive.

      The Jewish sense of homelessness never comes home quite as acutely in any of their other feasts – except perhaps the Pesach.

      JOB

  3. Ah … thank you. Good to know the occasion. Definitely one of my favorites, JOB. Check that—definitely my favorite.

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