Special delivery – a poem for Liz

Yesod b’Hod: the splendor and humility of being tied together

A woman and her
young niece
tie the left shoe
of one
to the right shoe
of the other.

They link arms
and walk awkwardly,
their four feet
uncertain how
to navigate this new
configuration, their
stumbling fueled
by delighted laughter.

They begin to
call out, “middle,”
when it's time to move
the tied feet,
then “other,” for the
unbound feet,
and for a brief
exhilarating moment
the rhythm
carries them along.

The niece says,
“Shhh,”
hoping they might
keep the rhythm
in silence,
which they do
for a few short steps,
until their feet get
confounded again,
and they stop,
sighing and chuckling,
in fun-filled frustration.

Laughter
is a kind of Hod,
splendorous and
humbling,
 tying us to our
stumbling
and bumbling
humanity.

Connection and
laughter,
the 34th gate.

Copyright Shifrah Tobacman, 2012. From the collection Omer/Teshuvah: 49 Poetic Meditations for Counting the Omer or Turning Toward a New Year.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is DayLily_splendrous.jpg
Day lily being its splendorous self.

This poem was written as inspiration for Counting the Omer, which began the second night of Passover, April 9, 2020. The last day of counting is May 27, 2020. Curious?

You can learn more about the practice and history of counting the Omer here.

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About Rabbi Shifrah

Shifrah

I’m a rabbi, holistic teacher, interfaith chaplain, end of life doula, and poet. I have a healer’s spirit, and am dedicated to social, economic, and environmental justice. I live in Emeryville, CA with my beloved wife Ruth, with whom I’ve been happily partnered for over twenty-two years.

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