Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Year number 5771

This is a meditation on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. This holiday, unlike the secular new year, is not about public celebration and inebriation, but rather, personal meditation and a desire for greater clarity. Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of a period called the Days of Awe, which is a 10 day period of atonement and renewal.

New to DC, I had no community among whom I wanted to spend these days, so instead I composed this poem. This is Part 1 of a 3 part poem.

BTW, this is year number 5771 according to the Jewish calendar. That number, based on calculations derived from the Bible and its genealogies, is the number of years since the world, and Adam, was created. While having no scientific-cosmological significance, it does have the virtue of being an attempt to be inclusive of all histories, nationalities, and ethnicities.

Rush HaShunnem 5771

Hoemless, shuelless, lostful. In time tu kum
Wut will Hem Jujjen rekord on me?
Knowen, az we du, this iz the time tu kum,
That we ar thare an it iz now.

The five thowzanth, sevven hundreth,
And sevventee ferst ov now
Akkorden tu them kownterz a yeer an jennerratenz
Ov the Bouk a Kreyatenz, Braysheet*
                    * Rabbinic name for Genesis
Wen the ferst toklee Speren* dessenden frum Uddoniy.
                    * Targum Oenkelos
                    a targum being a translation of the Bible.

This the yeer, in all iz pasts an fewcherz,
And I allone in this garden
Not ware moest ar kongraggaten
Tu intoenz mellodeyus ov theze ten day.
I insted, a sakraffise led asside.

Theze five thowzen sevven hunnert
Sevventee wun faddemless moment
Ov Divvine Invadenz by ar Uddoniy,
Hem enterree intu an Addomful werdz.

Fathemfil werlz ov Hem kreyaten.
Intu the rivverree Now Hem por
Iz milk an hunnee, bownteeful longenz.
All ov us laden with sweet beleevenz,
Sharplee for battelz, this Divvine invaze.

Sum ov us kleegen tu ar lanlock goedz,
     Say Baal an Baldor,
     Say annammel tokkenz.
An sum at the hed ov Uddoniyz charge
Say thay ar wonten tu slotter them foek.

The Preesthoud strenthen thaer armz a Torra.
Not all bludee, not all Dethee,
Not by forsen, not in feersen
Will Uddoniy konkers be fownd.

Studdee the werden and studdee the werlen
And the lanlock goeden will submit themsel,
Groenen ov weeng, anjellek minyenz
Rizzen frum the nativ soyellen.

Yes, annuther yeeren in Divvine evazen
And I allone in this nativ gard,
My vois but a silent kord in the nusakh*,
                    * Melody and tonality of prayers,
                    particular to each Jewish holiday
Lone sakrafise that I am intoenz
Ov theze Awfild Dayz a Nu Yeer.

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