Poetry & Fiction

Poetry

Devotion: Futurismo

A poem in the Spring 2011 issue of Tikkun.
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Humor

Heaven’s Snake

“Is the cornsnake Jewish?” This was a tough question to answer. I was visiting with the first-grade class taught by my then-girlfriend, who had introduced me to her students as “Farmer Josh” — and then thrust a large-ish cornsnake into my less-than-willing hands.
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Poetry

Snowbound

A poem in the Winter 2011 issue of Tikkun.
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Poetry

Villanelle: Tikkun Olam

A poem from our Winter 2011 issue.
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Poetry

Kavanah

A poem from our Winter 2011 issue.
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Poetry

Poem for Myself for My Birthday

A poem from our Winter 2011 issue.
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Humor

Culture Klatch

My son’s middle school was having a “culture fair” recently, so he asked me for some guidance. His task was to create a display that described his Jewish heritage.
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Humor

Fasting for Tom Zipper

I sent a text to my rabbi, asking whether I would have to give up coffee for Yom Kippur — but my cell phone “corrected” my message, assuming that “Yom Kippur” was my typo-laden attempt to thumb-type “Tom Zipper.” My rabbi texted me back, asking (reasonably enough) why this Tom Zipper fellow would want me to give up coffee.
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Poetry

Rilke’s America

Tell us, poet, what you do—I praise / Only, instead, the grave rasp of Kohelet / praising the dead, which are already dead / more than the living, which are yet alive.
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Humor

How to Have a Civil Conversation About Israel

1. Give up. 2. Devote a large portion of your life to avoiding the subject. 3. Respond to a mid-life crisis by seeking comfort in tradition while at the same time avoiding the constraints of religious practice…
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Poetry

The Day Continues Lovely

A poem from our September/October 2010 issue.
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Humor

Excerpts from a Diary

March 28, 1964: Father has been acting quite secretive this week—I think he’s obsessed with hiding the afikomen so I can’t find it this time. Last year he seemed disappointed that I found it so quickly—also, that I wasn’t so thrilled with my present, a simple yo-yo that I felt unsuitable for a sophisticated five-year-old such as myself.
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Humor

Dear Swami

Where Swami answers your questions and you will question his answers.
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Fiction

The Gift

David arrived at the Indian restaurant a few minutes early and made his way past the ceramic statues of elephants and the colorful paintings of women in saris to a table in the rear. He’d chosen this place to meet Maya because it was quiet enough to talk. It had been a year since he’d seen her—and then only at a distance, with her husband—but recently he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Something remained unfinished between them, getting in the way of his closeness with Lee, the woman he now was dating. He’d emailed Maya and she answered right away, saying yes, she’d been thinking of him, too, and shouldn’t they get together.
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Fiction

The House of Inspection

LONG AGO A PRISON WAS DESIGNED, the Panopticon. Prisoners would be isolated in separate cells that were organized like a stack of rings around a central tower. By special devices, the inspector in the tower would be able to see each prisoner but the prisoners would not be able to see the inspector. The prisoners could never be certain whether they were being watched or nor. This combination of isolation and the sense of being observed was to lead to moral reflection and rehabilitation. Versions of the Panopticon were constructed from time to time; the most uncompromising was the experimental women’s prison at A–.
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