Day 11 of the Omer
Day 13 of the Omer

Day 12 of the Omer


Run your fingers along red leather spines
embossed in gold. Read their titles like Braille.

Cradle the mantled scroll in your arms
like a sleeping child, more precious

than gold. Weigh the silver breastplate
in your hands, engraved pomegranates rattling.

The cherry-wood reading pointer fits
in your palm like a custom-made wand.

Even the words are beautiful, curve
and slash of calligraphy adorned with crowns.

Now remember all of this treasure pales
beside the real Torah: not the scroll, not

even the rounded runcibles of Rashi script
but the broadcast which flows from the source.

Deliberately tune your dials to God's station.
Delight in that. Taste the parchment's honey.

Read the Torah of the geese overhead.
Waltz with the Torah in every step.



Today is the 12th day of the Omer, which makes one week and five days of the Omer. Today is the 12th day of our 49-day journey between Pesach and Shavuot, between liberation and revelation.

According to one Mussar teaching which maps the days of the Omer to the qualities named in Pirkei Avot, today is the day for focusing on Deliberation, which they name in Hebrew as yishuv hamikra. That webpage links this day with Psalm 1 verse 2, אִם בְּתוֹרַת יְיָ, חֶפְצוֹ;    וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה, יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה -- "That one's delight is in the Torah of Adonai, and that person meditates on it day and night."

"Torah," of course, can mean much more than just the Five Books of Moses. That's the idea which gave rise to this poem.