Burdens and Blessings

a hand holds a violin and bow
Being Jewish
gives me a people,
a purpose, a religion, a culture


Being Jewish
colors my history,
my future, my present

Being Jewish
shapes and shades my poetry
forms and reforms my soul

Being Jewish
burdens me with blessings and
blesses me with burdens

Being Jewish
means I’ve been given a
violin – precious, priceless, and
unbearably fragile

Being Jewish
means I spend my life learning
to play this holy vessel
even as I hide it in the case or
try out 100 bows or
lose the bow and discover that
I can only make music by
plucking the strings

Being Jewish
means that I play even when
my violin is cracked

Being Jewish
means that often
life is a shaky roof
the Holy One
is the fiddler and
I’m the violin

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