It is said that if a Jew makes an opening
in his heart for G-d to enter,
even if it is as small as the eye of a needle,
a g-dly energy will flood through,
as though the hole were as wide as a road
many caravans travel.
And perhaps the riders of the caravans
will also be Jews,
who have come from very far, hauling
their belongings from one exile to another,
always anticipating the final sweet message:
The redemption is upon us.
for my grandmother
I know you only as a small boy knows an old woman,
peeling a tangerine for his small mouth
and from the inscription in the Yevtishenko book
you gave my father when he was a boy:
May you never be afraid of your Russian sensitivity.
But as I read your notebooks
I see that we share the same fear of science,
and a distrust for all the gifts we believe we have not earned.
And on the Sabbath before my wedding?
a day after my father and I had visited the cemetery
to invite you and Zada to the ceremony?
a stranger in a shul I had never been to
asked me my name
and if I knew you.
I know you are watching over me,
peeling the hardships from my days,
allowing me to live as a boy
who has never put the hard skin of the world
to his lips.
22 October 2008