Chag sameach! Our holiday sale is still ongoing, and so do our holiday excerpts centered around the theme of light.
Day 6 of Chanukah arrives with a prose poem from our forthcoming retrospective, The Missing Jew: Poems 1976-2021 by Rodger Kamenetz. If you’ve read and enjoyed his poetry (or his nonfiction!), or if you’re new to it, it will bring light into your life – quite literally.
Before we start, you can also take a look at the earlier updates:
Day 1: Ra’u Or: Essays in Honor of Dr. Ora Horn Preuser edited by Rabbi Joseph H. Prouser
Day 2: Everything Thaws by R.B. Lemberg
Day 3: Thirty-Two Gates of Wisdom: Awakening Through Kabbalah by Rabbi DovBer Pinson
Day 4: Here Is Our Light: Humanistic Jewish Holiday and Life-Cycle Liturgy for Inspiration and Reflection, edited by Miriam S. Jerris and Sheila Malcolm
Day 5: An Angel Called Truth & Other Tales from the Torah, by Rabbi Jeremy Gordon and Emma Parlons, with illustrations by Pete Williamson.
And now, let’s read this poem inspired by the Rebbe Nachman of Breslov!
To Add Light to a Name by Rodger Kamenetz
— after Rebbe Nachman Sichos HaRan #44 “On the topic of a person’s name”
Am I a misspelling? Perhaps there are too many versions for any to be convincing. In one version you will bless intricacies. I see in the fey of rafael a dangling yod. And a white bet traced in black which meaning calls house. I will bet on a hidden bet the b-b-b-b of first creation. Letters inside letters spell hidden lives. The rebbe said I will take your name and permute —do not say it is a trick. Do not say this! It is a great work to add light to a name.
Or in a dream to seal a body in light to brave a darkened door. To wrap wings of presence around trembling shoulders. Every word has secret doors. I will find levels in my name or stumble through a trap. There is a trope in your name rebbe. You drew me into yours and we fell together in the Nameless Who says I kill and I make live.
All around me I saw live the light in every name.
Thank you for reading! We will be back after Shabbat 🙂 Shabbat shalom, chag sameach and chodesh tov!