by Michal Mahgerefteh (Norfolk, VA)
“Whenever a mortal man uplifts with arrogance his heart,
scholar or prophet, all his gifts shall soon from him depart.”
Black kippah, black hat and black jacket are your refuge?
You stand on the bima in a white tunic shouting to my chaverim,
“Avoid her Shabbat meals.” In my still soul I feel like a dumb lamb led to the altar.
But against me you have no prayers that separate me from the Circle of David,
decompose my Sephardic essence nor ostracize me from the house of God.
Slowly I understand; your power magnifies littleness. All you do is blow ash
on the golden cherubim, smearing the name of El Elyon. The Talmud teaches
that our personal growth and spiritual maturity is an ongoing effort:
“God caused not His presence on Israel to rest, ’til their labor had shown
of their merit test.” Please understand we are not black or white, we are
cloaked in fabric of many colors.
Michal Mahgerefteh is an award-winning Israeli-American poet, the author of five poetry chapbooks, managing editor of Poetica Magazine, and an active member of The Poetry Society of Virginia. Michal is currently writing her next chapbook, FishMoon, forthcoming May 2022. If you’d like to read more of her work, visit her website: www.Mitak-Art.com