Elijah Where Are You?

His silver goblet is filled to the brim
His place at the table is ready
We’ve thrown open the door to welcome him
Though his yearly absence is steady.
But still we wait
And still we hope
And wonder and hope a bit more
Till the youngest among us asks with a smile
Could it be that he’s at the back door?

Moishe’s Musings

I must have been four years old; certainly under five. It was the month of December. We listened to the radio in our home, and I heard the songs about a jolly old man. I saw pictures of him too, in the day-old newspaper we got from the neighbors. And I knew his name....

The BYG* Pic

*Behold Your God is our dream of reaching every city outside of Israel with a Jewish population of 25,000 or more. This month we come to Lyon, France, the second to last city slated for a Behold Your God campaign. The city of Lyon is approximately two hours south of...

Untitled

     We come into consciousness, we know not from where      And we face eternity, we know not when or how      We come into consciousness, and eventually consciousness ends…...

Jews for Jesus Founder Confesses: “I Used to Be God”

I was too modest to admit it publicly But I knew I was God. What I wanted was right And I knew those who were righteous Or unrighteous By whether or not they did what I wanted. The good people praised me Honored me Believed whatever I spoke The evil ones did not. I...

Auf Wiedersehn Waldorf

In 2004, Steve, Janie-sue, Ben and Bekah Wertheim visited Germany together as a family to see where their family had come from… A sleepy town in the middle of farm country, boy tending His sheep in the hills nearby—sees the storm Approaching, running back to the...

Joy at Sukkot

Elusive joy For those who wait And know not what they wait for A promise, a path, a person? Unfulfilled joy For those who dream And know not what to dream for Success, satisfaction, a savior savior? Unbridled joy For those who submit And know to whom they humbly...

I Remember

Birth I remember sitting on daddy’s lap my pretty one” he used to say “give daddy a nice big kiss” I’d smile, put my chubby arms around his neck real tight then plant a big messy kiss on his rough cheek I remember the first day of school,...

Zayde

Zayde You used to call me Shayna maidele, your pretty one As you bounced me on your knee. Oh, your grey beard scared me so! Zayde Did you know I looked In your dresser drawer and found the cherry drops. They were for me, weren’t they? Zayde I can still feel Your...

Invited (or, Ode for Diogenes)

I wake up in the morning And put on my cynical shirt Button my cynical buttons Straighten my cynical tie And march out with my lantern1 to the marketplace. I sit in my cynical box,2 and wait A woman approaches me A glass in her hand Half-full or empty, she asks? I...

Two Walls

In his hands, he folds the note, Smaller and smaller The words he’d found so hard to write The question he’d found so hard to ask His feet move slowly Towards the stones touched by holy men Black coats, black hats, gray beards these begin to fill his eyes....

Permission

If minutes could choose how they would be used Then eleven September’s 8:45 Might have surrendered its life With 9:03 and 9:43, too. But nobody asked the minutes. They say one of time’s missions is to perfect vision. Time can be a healer of pain And it...

A Child Questions

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”2 I am my father’s son: His wounds embedded in my core He...

Celebrations of Light

In the beginning the world was in darkness God speaking, the Spirit moving let there be light we remember the miracle God’s wondrous act. The temple in darkness desecrated, defiled, a small band of warriors, the victory won, we remember the miracle God’s...

Call Me

Call me, he whispers. I’m in the book. But he isnt. Its just a line. Call me, she insists. I want to hear from you. But she doesnt. Shes changed her mind. Life can be cruel. Filled with empty words and half hearted promises. Or can one hope for more? Call me, another voice invites. Im waiting. Ive been waiting all your life. Im in the book. Really. And you will seek Me and find me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29 13

The Task

Stumbling and staggering beneath the load The weight and bulk of sacks of grain More than one can bear The slave plods along the path determined To complete the task The ballerina leaps and reaches above the night Grace and playfulness in her dance Spirit free like a...

Gospel Ads

If there is one time of year when the hearts of Jewish people seem to be softened to spiritual things, it’s during Advent. Perhaps it has to do with the positive message” specials on television, the carols on the radio or the plethora of Christmas theme...

Messiah Revealed

their faces I formed so that mine they would seek ears to listen for the Word I would speak eyes to see, minds to understand all they required I made with my Hand the Law and the Prophets for centuries foretold the birth of a baby begotten of old in words unencoded,...

Resurrection

Trojan horse triumph of history Innocence murdered to end tyranny Living Word silenced without a remark Sunlight extinguished to kindle a spark Freedom sold to end slavery Man fed to Death to set mankind free Lamb bred for slaughter; Babe born to die Devourer poisoned...

Miriam

First prophetess, named by Divine inspiration, Daughter of Amram and Jochebed, Child of Israel’s ghetto, Citizen of the enslaved and groaning Hebrew nation, Descended from God’s forgotten deliverer, Student of a mother gifted with faith and ingenuity,...

Simeon

Of a morning The ancient breeze would unfurl, Gentle on the old man. Together they would go To the place of promise. And promise had been made, Nested in his heart, And promise had lain there, Content for the future. Only occasionally, as the years blew by, Gusted by...

Holiday Hodgepodge

About the date on this month’s banner: This isn’t really the December newsletter and it isn’t really the January newsletter. It’s more like a combination—a holiday hodgepodge. We hope you’ll like it! —y.a. ed. (your affectionate editor)...

Prayers

Uncertain about prayer, we turn to a higher power and, with language that is not ours, use pronouns like thee and thou, verbs like beseech and art as though, so far beyond our reach, God might depart if he didn’t hear such peculiar...

The Substance of Regret

Some days it’s easier to listen than think. The brain gets rooted in its own pleasures, starts poaching in the Great Thing’s dream. I was born to be for ever at odds with my freedom. I try to choose things subtle and divine, but end up honoring the silly...

When There Was Nothing

When there was nothing There was I Lighting volcanoes Stretching the sky Sketching the veins of an acorn leaf Painting the gloss on the tiger’s teeth When there was nothing I was there Buffing the buffalo Grooming the bear Curling the cobra in his coiled-up cave...

Jonah’s Prayer

In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over...
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