Day 41 of the Omer
Childhood cancer: I have no words.

Day 42 of the Omer


Torah quenches thirst on a hot day.
In space there's no oxygen, but there is Torah.
Remember hearing lightning, seeing thunder?
God invited Moshe ben Amram to climb Horeb
to taste and see that Torah is good, sweet
as honey smeared on parchment. Wait, I misspoke:
at Sinai we heard nothing. All God spoke
was the silent aleph at the very beginning.
Because every soul was at Sinai, we all know
the secrets of creation. There's no before
or after in Torah: it's a Name of God
no matter how the letters are arranged.
Moshe ascended to heaven, watched
as the Holy One handwrote a Torah scroll
painstakingly adorning the letters with crowns.
Adoring the letters is our job—isn't that
what the rabbi would say? Torah is Her name
and if we can't touch the thing itself,
we can sing to the signifier as we waltz.
Yisrael v'oraita v'kudsha brich hu chad hu
we and Torah and the Holy One of Blessing
are one. God's own letters, building blocks
of creation, are encoded in our DNA.
Take Torah in—spicy as horseradish, crumbly
as a meal offering drenched in fine oil—
and exhale the Name on every breath.



Today is the 42nd day of the Omer, making six weeks of the Omer. Today is the 42nd day of our 49-day journey from Pesach to Shavuot, liberation to revelation.

Today's poem was inspired by one of last year's NaPoWriMo prompts, which invites the use of twenty little poetry projects.

Horeb is another name for Sinai.

The idea that the only thing God spoke at Sinai was a silent aleph comes from a beautiful teaching of the Ropcyzer rebbe.

Yisrael v'oraita v'kudsha brich hu chad hu is from the Zohar, and is the assertion that we, and the Torah, and God, are all one.