Monthly archives "November 2017"

Va-yishlach: (Genesis 32:4-36:40)

 

Va-yishlach: (Genesis 32:4-36:40):

Sexual Violation in the Bible and Now

A D’var Torah by Rabbi Corinne Copnick

 

“Now Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, chief of the country, saw her, and took her and lay with her by force. Being strongly drawn to Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and in love with the maiden, he spoke to the maiden tenderly. So Shechem said to his father Hamor, ‘Get me this girl for a wife”(Genesis 34:1-4).

 

Va’yishlach, the Torah portion for this week, is read in our synagogues just as the current news cycle revels in the salacious details of sexual violation in our secular world. As high profile men are publicly disgraced for a sliding scale of offences that include harassment, groping, assault, or rape, we reflect that human nature has not changed since biblical times.

Credit: http://www.pictorem.com/collection/900_Lucretia%20and%20Tarquin.jpg

First of all, this portion details Jacob’s fearful return to the Promised Land, his wrestling match with the angel (which leaves him with a permanent limp but rewards him with the new name of Israel), and his bittersweet reunion, and then parting, from his brother Esau. Following these episodes in chapter 34, is the story of Dinah, who never gets to say a single word about her feelings or fate. The pages of the Torah do not give her the opportunity to speak out about her probable rape by a neighboring Canaanite prince, Shechem, the son of his pagan tribe’s important chief, Hamor the Hivite. Nor can she say a word about her brothers’ subsequent actions to punish the offender – and his entire tribe as well by wholesale circumcision — nor about the death of her rapist, who claimed to have fallen in love with her after he violated her. Whatever she might have had to say about the consequential death of Shechem –  perhaps she loved him too – the pages of the Torah do not permit her to say anything. Her feelings simply don’t count.

And so Dinah, Leah’s last child, and Jacob and Leah’s only daughter, remains silent through the centuries. We don’t know how she feels, and we don’t know how she was treated once she was taken from Shechem’s house and returned to the bosom of her family. Even today, women in some parts of the Middle East and elsewhere who bring dishonor and shame to their families by being raped, are not treated well, and in many cases (some of which Rabbi Laura Geller enumerates) killed by their own relatives – even though they are the victims. Fortunately, in the Torah’s account, the punishment seems to fall on the male perpetrator and his family rather than on Dinah, but we simply don’t know.  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks remarks that Dinah is a blank page onto which we project our own feelings and opinions.

So here goes: First of all, controversy through the centuries has quite despicably, in my view, revolved around whether Dinah, in modern parlance, “asked for it” by “going out to see the daughters of the land.” This is the antiquated thinking of classical (and even some contemporary) rabbis who prefer women to be modestly dressed – even better, in some Middle Eastern countries, veiled from head to toe – and hidden in their own homes, away from the sight of unrelated men. Curiosity about what’s outside your tribe? Want to learn more about the world? Get an education? Stuff it! Stay home, cook, and look after the kids. So, according to these classical rabbis (yes, shamefully), if Dinah had stayed home like a good girl should (or today, dress appropriately for the office), she wouldn’t have been raped.

Then there’s the argument that centers around whether or not Dinah was actually raped. Perhaps, based on the translation of three Hebrew verbs used sequentially to describe what Shechem did to Dinah, she was not raped at all? Perhaps it was consensual?The first verb, vayineh, could be alternatively translated as “raped, violated, or lay with her by force.” The n-h root could be translated as “oppress, overpower, humiliate, subdue.” None of them sound good to me, however.

Dr. Shawna Dolansky, who warns that we should beware of reading this story from a 21st century viewpoint, nevertheless elaborates on this verbal theme, particularly on the verb, “innah,” which is somewhat untranslatable but usually rendered in English as “rape.” She suggests that it means to “debase” or “lower a person’s status,” but most likely from her family’s perspective. So we don’t really know if Dinah consented, nor exactly what Shechem did when he “innahed” her. In any case, it was apparently to the extent that he fell in love with her.

To his credit, though, he did the honorable thing and asked Dinah’s father, Jacob – like Shechem’s father, Jacob was also an esteemed man in the land — for her hand in marriage. Jacob agrees to the marriage, but, in consultation with his numerous sons, with this condition: Since a Jewish women can only marry a circumcised male, Shechem’s whole tribe, along with him, must undergo circumcision as well.

Although Shechem and his father agree to both the marriage and the circumcision, a truly evil act takes place while the whole tribe is convalescing and unable to defend themselves. Two of the brothers, Shimon and Levi, surreptitiously descend on them and kill all the males of the tribe. There are whispers that they had secretly plotted to take advantage of the men in order to confiscate their property and cattle. Jacob, who has always had friendly relations with his neighbors, is so distraught that he feels he must move away in order to prevent vengeful retaliation.

The Torah should really be read straight through like a novel. Shimon and Levi defend themselves with this question: “Should he [Shechem] have been allowed to treat ours sister like a whore?” (Genesis 34:31). It’s a question that would surely have resonated in that time and place. In fact, writes Lewis M. Barth, “the misogynistic orientation of classical Rabbinic Judaism infuses many midrashic comments on this text with statements linking Dinah and her mother to prostitution. Probably the Rabbis reread the final question [above]…as a declarative sentence. The Rabbis’ comments specifically blame Dinah for being raped and being the cause of the slaughter of Shechem, Hamor, and all the males of their community.”

The biblical text, however, does not suggest that Shechem treated Dinah like a whore. We are told that he was drawn to her, and, although admittedly after the act of taking her, in love with her, and that he talked to her tenderly. Since he asked to marry her, surely he did not consider her to be a whore. At any rate, somewhat later in the text, Shimon and Levi get their come-uppance. Jacob does not speak well of them in his bedside oration, and Shimon and Levi are not assigned property in the Holy Land (Genesis 49:5-7).

Thousands of years later, Anita Diament’s The Red Tent (1997), while an historical fiction that invented a sequential period in Egypt, tried to substantially provide Dinah’s voice amid the atmosphere of the times. Of course it was widely read and appreciated – and still is – countless women. Fortunately, there are many female, as well as male, voices (besides lawyer Gloria Allred) that speak out for the Dinahs of this world today.

  1. The Hivites were a nation that descended from Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah (Genesis 10:17). The first time they play an active role in the Bible is when Shechem the Hivite raped Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, and full blood sister of Simeon and Levi (Genesis 34).” (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds. The Jewish Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  2. Rabbi Laura Geller, “The Silence of Dinah and Other Rape Victims: The Bible focuses on Jacob’s and his son’s reactions, but not on those of the victim herself.” My Jewish Learning, with permission from The Torah: A Woman’s Commentary, edited by Tamara Cohn Eskenazi and Audrey L. Weiss (New York: URJ Press and Women of Reform Judaism, 2008).

  3. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “Vayishlach,” Covenant and Conversation, www.rabbisacks.org/vayishlach.

  4. Susanna R. Cohen. “Why We Must Speak Out Against Sexual Violence,” https://reformjudaism.org, 11/30/2017.

  5. Dr. Shawna Dolansky, “The Debasement of Dinah: A Historical-Critical Reading,” https: The Torah.com, 11/29/2017. Dolansky claims that the narrative “never states that Dinah was raped or coerced into sexual intercourse….and that the verb ‘innah’ is used in many places throughout the biblical text in ways that cannot be translated as rape.”

  6. According to Deuteronomy 22:28-29, in Jewish law, if a man rapes an unattached woman, he must pay a fine to her father, and not only is he required to marry her, but also he can never divorce her (Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler, eds. The Jewish Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 69.

  7. Lewis M. Barth, “Difficult Stories Raise Difficult Questions,” Vayishlach, Genesis 32:4-36:43, https://reformjudaism.org/learning/torah/2017.

  8. Richard Elliott Friedman, ed. Commentary on the Torah: With a New English Translation and the Hebrew Text (New York: Harper, 2003)118.

©️Corinne Copnick, Los Angeles, 2017. All rights reserved.

Chaya the Shoichet

 

Chaya the Shoichet [1]

by Rabbi Corinne Copnick

I never meant to choose a dog like Chaya. When I first saw her early in the morning, she was still grieving, a long-haired vision of Arctic beauty. A Samoyed husky. I stroked her white, silky hair and talked to her gently. I told her in soft tones how much I needed someone to love. The day went by without even the faintest acknowledgement of my repeated overtures. Several times I walked away, but each time returned.

Photo credit: http://artsonearth.com/www/images/nature/american-eskimo-dog-from-spitz/american-eskimo-dog.jpg

It was actually an event outside myself that propelled me to seek a dog. I not only needed a companion, I needed a protector; for an ugly episode had taken place in my very own driveway. The sanctity of my comfortable white stucco and terracotta home was violated by a crude, little note, hand-lettered carefully on yellow, lined, foolscap paper:

“This is for the animals who died to make your mink coat.”

The four tires of my car had been irreparably slashed. With malice aforethought. Right in my driveway. The nasty note had been placed under the rear wheel of my car. “Maybe you should get a dog,” the young, blue-eyed policeman had said.

So when I went down to the Humane Society, it was with determination. “Doggie,” I persuaded, as I returned to the cage for the sixth time. “It’s the middle of the afternoon. Open your eyes. I am here.”

This time she responded to my voice, looked at me with her beguiling, velvety-black eyes. Delicately, she licked the tips of my fingers, extended towards her through the cage wires.

That did it! She was everything that was wrong for me, but the moment she kissed my hand, we were a match. It was love at first sight.

I had wanted a sizeable dog that looked fierce, not a pile of black and white fluff, a dog who would ward off would-be assailants with a loud bark. But when I saw Chaya, in her silky-haired mourning attire in the shelter’s cage, it was instant identification. Her name, “Chaya,” was tacked to the front of the cage. She had lost her family. When Chaya was eight years old, her mistress had a baby, and Chaya grew jealous of the baby. It was a choice between the dog or the baby.

So there she lay, mortified, the most beautiful dog in the world, locked in a cage at the Humane Society. “Eight years old,” I pondered. A dog’s age is calculated at about seven dog years for every year of human life. She was younger than me. It was doubtful she would find another home.

“She’s a wonderful dog,” the attendant said. “Well trained. She just got jealous. She’s even been trained not to bark.”

When the attendant told me she had a bit of arthritis in her back legs, I knew that despite the fact she didn’t meet most of my requirements, she was made for me. So what if she looked like a marshmallow, not a fierce protector! So what is she didn’t bark? It was bechert! Destiny!

“We’ll watch our diets and exercise together,” I mused. “Did you come from a kosher home?” I inquired directly into Chaya’s ear. Her eyes remained closed, but Chaya’s graceful upswept Samoyed tail showed the hint of a wag.

“Chaya,” I sweet-talked the dog, “my Jewish name is just like yours. Chaya. Animal. We have the same name.” Did I imagine that the dog’s ears perked up for the first time. “Chayele,” I coaxed, using the Yiddish diminutive. “Little animal, I love you.”

It was at that moment Chaya opened her eyes and kissed my hand. She knew she was loved. She knew she was mine. She had found a good Jewish home.

* * * *

I took Chaya everywhere. To the post office, the drug store, the shoe store, and to my aunt’s for dinner. She had tidbits under the table and shared my morning toast with me.  At the corner bakery, they gave he “pareve” cookies while she waited outside. Everywhere people petted her. I even took her with me to the hairdresser. They brushed her silky hair, too. Chaya loved going to the hairdresser.

So when a friend invited me to attend an exhibit at a native art gallery, it seemed only natural to take Chaya, too. The art gallery was located at the edge of a First Nations Reserve in the Ontario countryside in Canada. The art work shown there was the creation of indigenous artists. One of the artists, a petite, round-faced quilt-maker of some international renown, invited the charming friend who had introduced me to the gallery and myself to dinner.

They had known one another for a long time. Little animal was welcome, too. In the rugged expanse of rural wilderness that framed the reserve, Little Animal was soon to become Wild Animal. Vilde Chaya, as it is called in Yiddish.

The country lake was the first thing to evoke Chaya’s primitive inner voice. She was part husky, after all. She dove into the water in the late day, just as the sun was beginning to dip itself into the lake. Little Animal swam as if the lake and sun and trees belonged to her. She shook her fur when she emerged and frisked happily with the large dog belonging to our native hosts.

“City dog?” one of our native hosts asked, raising a skeptical, busy eyebrow. He was the quilt-maker’s husband and wore a leather, fringed jacket. “I don’t think so. Country dog,” he pronounced.

My friend, an environmental consultant by profession, smiled at me. He was at home in these surroundings. His white mustache quivered with pleasure.

I smiled back. “Like your people and mine,” I answered our host, “Chaya has a long history.”

Then we happily sat down with ten or more First Nations people at long, rough wood tables for a barbecue. The pickerel cooked over an open fire and the roasted potatoes smelled delicious. Green beans from the garden adorned the salad. But in this ecological heaven, we ate on paper plates with plastic forks and knives, and drank from paper cups.

“L’chaim,” I offered a toast over the bush tea, strong-brewed over the fire. In response, they taught me some words in Ojibway, almost a lost language.

As home-baked apple and blueberry pies were brought to the table, one of the native men laughed happily. “Whenever we had dessert, my Mama always said, “Just turn over the plates, kids, and eat on the other side.” Everyone giggled and turned their paper plates upside down to receive the slices of pie.

I looked at my food-stained plate squeamishly. “I don’t eat dessert,” I excused myself. “Do you want a little piece of pie, Chaya?” I reached under the table to give my slice to the dog. Chaya had taken her place under the table as the meal began, her nose close to my feet, so I could slip her little tid-bits from time to time. This time there was no receiving, moist dog tongue. Chaya wasn’t there. During all the merriment, she had slipped away.

Hurriedly, I began to look for her. Here, in this country setting, amongst aboriginal people with a past so closely connected to the land, had my eight-year-old, Jewish husky responded to some primeval urge and returned to the wilderness?

* * * *

“Chaya,” I cupped my fingers to my mouth to enlarge the sound. “Chayele,” I called. “Where are you? This is your Jewish mother asking. “Come back.”

I remembered how my grandmother used to tie a horsehair ring around her finger to keep away the evil eye. In these strange surroundings, had an evil spirit overtaken my Chaya? Would I ever see her again? I wished that I had a horsehair ring or a five-fingered hand on a little gold chain around my neck, or an Indian dream catcher, or…at least I was wearing my Mogen Dovid (Jewish star).

Just then I caught a glimpse of her white tail soaring in the air amidst the tall grass. She hadn’t run far away at all. There she was in a fenced enclosure behind the large, rambling house. “Oh,” I sighed in relief, “she must have leaped over the fence or burrowed under it. Then the moment of relief ended as I saw what was at the front of Chaya’s tail.

A chicken. Chaya had it in her mouth.

As I screamed, “No, no, not the chicken, in one fell swoop Chaya became a shoichet (a ritual slaughterer who koshers the meat). She had slaughtered the chicken.

Shaking the dog by her collar, I made her drop the chicken, uneaten, but it was too late. The chicken was dead.

The banqueting natives heard  my screams, and all ten came running. “Are you all right? Are you all right?” They gathered around me protectively, and then suddenly there was silence. Everyone stared at the chicken lying on the ground.

“I’m awfully sorry,” I said unhappily, “but my dog has slaughtered one of your chickens. I’ll replace it.”

“Oh no,” my native hostess gasped. Her quilter’s hands flew to clasp her round cheeks. “I hope it isn’t Goldie. Oh, I bet it’s Goldie. I forgot that she was loose. I forgot to put her back in the hen house.” Now the hands clutched her bosom as if in prayer, as she moved forward to identify the chicken.

“Goldie,” her husband cried in dismay, bending down to look at the chicken. His bushy brows knitted together. “Goldie is…was out pet. Most chickens only live for three or four years, but Goldie was ten years old.” He looked away, his eyes almost, but not quite, misting over. “I guess it’s dumb to have a chicken for a pet.”

“I guess your Goldie is irreplaceable,” I rejoined sadly. “Oh Chaya,” I thought. “We have spoiled such a nice invitation. At that moment, I felt like…Christopher Columbus, as he has been portrayed in recent ties. I felt like all the other exploiters of aboriginal people. We had come, my white city dog and I, in presumed good will to their welcoming feast, and we had destroyed their animal.

At least not with malice aforethought. At least not like the kind of people who intentionally slash tires. At least….

“Next time I’ll call and say the whites are coming,” I made a bad joke. Nobody laughed.

“Come with me,” I snapped to my dog the Assassin, and I tied her to the lef of one of the wooden banquet tables. And now Chaya, the gentle dog who never barked, found her voice. She barked and whined and whimpered.

“Be quiet,” I commanded. In response, she howled non-stop like a timber wolf. “Aah-ooooh!” Or an Arctic husky reclaiming her land. Until finally, we prepared to take our leave.

“I hope you will invite me again,” I ventured. Chaya, now sweetly on her lead ready to go home to the wilds of suburban Toronto, wagged her tail. My friend, the environmentalist, gave me a hug.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s just a chicken,” they all assured me sadly. Everybody looked at Goldie still lying on the ground. Then my host gathered up Goldie’s remains and brought them to the kitchen. He put them on the wood block beside the stove. He was a practical man. Goldie would soon be ten-year-old chicken soup.

I picked up my forgotten cup of bush tea in the paper cup and made a parting toast. “L’chaim, Goldie. To life! May your spirit sleep in protected bays.”

 

[1] A shoichet is a ritual slaughterer who kills animals humanely. I first narrated this story to a large assemblage of Jewish performing artists and writers in Toronto and have told it many times since.

©️Corinne Copnick, Toronto, 1990; Los Angeles, 2017. All rights reserved.

 

An Immodest Proposal: A Satire for Our Time

 

An Immodest Proposal: A Satire for Our Time

By Rabbi Corinne Copnick

Most literate people in the English-speaking world have heard of Jonathan Swift, a 19th century satirist of considerable stature, perhaps best known as the author of Gulliver’s Travels. Swift was also infamous for creating a furor in his time: He suggested to the English (long perceived in Ireland as oppressors) that the famine in Ireland was so severe that the Irish, it was said, were eating grass because no potatoes could be found on the Emerald Isle. Swift’s satirical essay, A Modest Proposal, advised the Irish of an alternative: the various ways their children could be prepared for eating – roasting, for example. This gustatory procedure would at once alleviate the hunger of the Irish and reduce a major contributor to poverty, excessive procreation. Swift’s politically incorrect satire was received with outrage, but it did serve his purpose of drawing world attention to the extreme poverty and associated hardship the Irish were experiencing.

Today, almost two decades into the 21st century, doctors and patients and those in power alike – all agree that the U.S. health system is in urgent need of repair, but few are agreed on how to fix it. Of course, politicians and armchair critics make proposals all the time, many of them politically incorrect. Hopefully we have progressed in compassion and concern since the 19th century.

Therefore, as an aging person born in Canada (a country that has a national universal healthcare system) and now also a U.S. citizen, I am taking a lesson from Jonathan Swift. So I am offering a totally immodest, politically incorrect proposal: It’s time to think out of the box, right? It’s time to alleviate the healthcare dilemma currently faced by the growing demographic of elderly people in America.  

My immodest (satirical, of course!) proposal is two-pronged. It is not only aimed at helping the elderly, but it will also resolve the embarrassing problem the U.S. is facing with millions of undocumented, mainly Hispanic, workers on its hands. Most are from Mexico, but reportedly that stream has recently slowed, while others fleeing from persecution or untenable situations in diverse, war-torn countries continue to seek refuge in the U.S. In any case, by one means or another, many would-be immigrants have crossed the border illegally and remain in the U.S., where they work fearfully “under the table” in a shadow world.

This situation is complicated by the “Dreamers,” brought to this country by their parents as children and raised and educated in America. This is the country they know and love. Most are wonderful young people who can potentially contribute a great deal to the U.S. It seems heartless, cruel in fact, to force them to leave, to abandon their dreams of elevating themselves and their families.

My simple solution – a give-and-take population transfer — could help our healthcare system and our immigration headache at the same time. Population transfer, you suggest? It sounds awful. How does it work?

How it works:

By giving de facto recognition to the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here. By letting them stay here with conditional visas, and with the goal of eventually becoming citizens who pay taxes and thus easing the burden on our health system. In return, a population transfer will be arranged of equivalent millions of our most elderly and infirm citizens — who are also a burden that our health system is presently ill equipped to carry.

People are living longer and longer, that’s wonderful. But how are we supposed to care for “seniors” in their eighties, nineties, and more — especially as the baby boomers have already entered the crowded territory of the aging, if not yet the aged?  My proposal suggests that, instead of warehousing people who are living too long in crowded nursing homes, why not transport them to the sunny climes of Mexico, where they can be treated by the excellent medical expertise and far less expensive drugs of the Mexican health system. This population transfer is really an innovative kind of tourism!

Preposterous, you say? Where will a poor country like Mexico find the financial resources to build hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and therapeutic resources for the elderly and infirm?

Unnecessary to worry about it, I say! There is indeed a financial solution if we put on our collective thinking caps. Yes, this proposal should be very attractive financially to the drug cartels. This is an excellent way to improve their public image and to show they are really good corporate citizens. They can even throw plenty of pain-relieving marijuana and even cocaine and other drugs into the mix – for medicinal purposes, of course. What a great opportunity to launder drug money earned internationally in a way that will help U.S. society! No need to use foreign banks or dubious real estate projects.

Additionally, relatives will be much happier to visit the elderly in healthcare spots like Rosario Beach (decorated in celebratory Mexican colors) rather than in the depressing environments of nursing homes. This elderly population can be transported to open air locales renowned as pleasant spots to visit. Think of Cabo San Lucas, Puerta Vallarta, Acapulco. Or on the east coast, Cancun, Cozumel. Who wouldn’t want to live in these beautiful spaces so close to nature?

Tended by caring Mexican doctors and nurses, our elderly can experience the healing air and nutrients brought by the caressing waves of the sea. They can expose their arthritic limbs and aching joints to the warm climate and consume health-giving veggies like chopped cactus with onions and seaweed, along with a steady diet of seafood (known to be healthier than red meat and easier on cholesterol levels). All this totally at the cost of the Mexican government (instead of a wall at the border) via some of its most maligned citizens. Of course, relatives will be much happier to visit the elderly in health spots like Puerta Vallarta or Cozumel rather than in the depressing environments of nursing homes. Mexico is a great place to have a face lift and other cosmetic enhancements while they visit.

And since the elderly population is known to have a high rate of attrition as their life spans come to an end (hopefully from natural causes in this health-giving atmosphere), the worrisome high cost of funerals can also be alleviated. No cemetery plots or tack-on charges are involved. No cremating of dear ones and scattering of ashes. Shrouded, deceased residents of these beach communities will simply be placed reverently at the edge of the sea to be swept away by the tide, thereby enriching the ocean and its inhabitants with the useful nutrients of the human body.

Naturally, suitable accompanying ritual ceremonies will be created to mark their passing. I envision a North America-wide (Canada, the U.S., and Mexico are all part of North America) competition among our literary and musical artists for the finest compositions designed to accompany our human vessels to the receptive depths of the ocean, a case of God’s creatures returning to nature’s comforting arms.

Also, since recent polls show that people respond to change best in slow increments, perhaps the elderly could first be introduced to the concept of population transfer with assistance from our marketing community. Flashy brochures will feature free, three-day inspection trips with all-you-can-eat buffets. Casinos (again courtesy of organized crime) that accept U.S. credit cards will line locales like Rosario Beach at one-mile intervals so that the elderly don’t have to travel too far in the free beach carts. Plenty of nickel slot machines will be available. It will be fun, fun, fun (just like Las Vegas) to be transported to a beach-healthcare community in Mexico.

I am the first to admit that this proposal is in its initial stages and may have to be tweaked a little by Congress. However, at least it does not propose that we eat our elderly and infirm.

©️Corinne Copnick, Los Angeles, 2017. All rights reserved.

 

Continuity

 

Continuity [1]

by Rabbi Corinne Copnick

 

 

Photo credit: https://www.kaththeartist.com/step-by-step-lithography

 

Beyond the simple repetitive cycle

are thematic mutations

uniquely conceived to alter slightly

familiar stains and hues,

 

color the vacuum with multi-dyed pattern,

limited edition found on faith

and acid-etched on a limestone block,

each reprint adding new

dimensions to the composite

before it is sanded down, re-used,

a statement washed away.

 

A single lithograph, preserved,

brightens walls where my children

grease pencil personal

drawings, blueprinting continuity

for the next generation.

 

[1] This poem first appeared in Corinne Copnick Spiegel, Etreinte/Embrace: Une poeme d’amour/A Love Story in Poetry (Montreal: Editions Guy Maheux, 1981), a limited edition of 36 bilingual (English/French) poems that can be found occasionally in rare book stores.

 

©️Corinne Copnick, Montreal, 1981; Los Angeles, 2017. All rights reserved.

 

Inclusion: Yartzheit, 2017

Inclusion:

Yartzheit, 2017 [1]

by Rabbi Corinne Copnick

a beautiful body is a lovely thing

an admirable value my sister didn’t

have a beautiful body she felt

left out I know what it did

to my sister inside b’ahavah

 

 

[1] On the Hebrew anniversary of the loved one’s death (the Yartzheit), special prayers are recited in the synagogue. Traditionally a memorial candle is lit in remembrance.

 

 

         ©️Corinne Copnick, Los Angeles, 2017. All rights reserved.