Between the Mountain and the Land Lies the Lesson

Poetic Midrash on Sacred Community

by Abe Mezrich


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About this book

In his latest book of poetic Midrash, Abe Mezrich breathes new life into the last third of the Torah. This third act, beginning with Moses sending spies into the Land, becomes the setting for poetry that fully engages the mind and the heart.

With clarity and beauty, Between the Mountain and the Land is the Lesson explores fundamental Jewish questions: What does it mean to be sacred? To be a community? And, especially, what does it mean to be a sacred community that both flees from and longs for Revelation?

Advance Praise

“It would have been enough if Abe Mezrich only wrote Midrashim (creative re-interpretations/rediscoveries of the Torah); it would have been enough if he only wrote poems; it would have been enough if he only wrote Zen koans. How fortunate are we that he has given us a work combines all three! Mezrich is a cultivated craftsman– interpretively astute, sonically deliberate, and spiritually cunning. Between The Mountain and the Land Lies the Lesson is a work of alluring, hard-won simplicity. It reveals Torah study to be creative, contemplative, and humane practice. One of its many successes is is that I can’t tell where the ancient text ends and Mezrich’s commentary begins.”
–Zohar Atkins, author of Nineveh

"Love Story"

Love Story

Do not look up to the sky
to worship the sun, moon, stars.
Other nations do this,
but not you.

You worship He Who Has Taken you
from the iron crucible of Egypt
to bring you close.

Others worship the things they see,
the given facts of the world.

Your worship is a love story.

Deuteronomy 4:9-20



the mountain burned in fire up to the heavens,
and HaShem spoke from within the fire

Not a great light from Heaven
but fire from the Mountain below,
making Heaven bright.

Deuteronomy 4:11-12



Remember: it is God
Who sends rain down from heaven
to the ground where we work.

Take this truth,
place it on your head
& on your arm.

Tie your strength below
to what is above.

Deuteronomy 11:13-18