So They Say

A tree across from a lake against a dark starry night
Some believe there is a tree somewhere,
somewhere green and warm, somewhere sunny.
There is a tree, and from that tree,
Adam and Eve took the fateful fruit,
which doomed all of humanity.
That tree, that beautiful, bountiful tree,
was the source of our sin;
so they say.
 
Some say that there is a garden somewhere,
somewhere hidden and safe, somewhere close to God.
In that garden, stands that tree.
And on that tree, grows more fruit.
Fruit that contains all the knowledge of life.
Fruit that contains all the sufferings of humanity;
so they say.
 
Some say that there is a boat somewhere,
standing guard on a hill-top, buried, and lost to time.
In that boat once stood all
the varieties of animal that walk on the earth.
The burden of repopulating the earth
rested upon that boat, lost to time;
so they say.
 
Some say there is a tower somewhere,
stretching towards the heavens, inching closer to the stars.
In that tower, humanity once reached for God.
Reaching out their hands to a God
they thought would welcome them with open arms.
Who instead scattered them, and their language;
so they say.
 
Some say that there is a rock somewhere,
deep in the wilderness of the barren lands outside Egypt.
From that rock, sprang water
that would provide our ancestors with life,
and quench their thirst in their wandering.
In that rock, was God’s gift of life;
so they say.
 
I do not believe that all these things are true.
Or maybe I do, deep down inside.
But it this wrestling that is what makes me a Jew.
That wrestling is what makes me a part of the tribe.
That wrestling is what brings me closer to God;
so they say.
 
There is a tree somewhere, so they say.
And that tree has its roots in a culture
that spreads back millennia.
That tree has roots that has sprouted
into a magnificent oak tree
which has become a pillar of our people.
That tree is us, and we are that tree; so I say.
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