Excerpt from Last Minute Talmud Review by Yehoshua November


The following poem appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 which we’ve decided to share not just with our paying subscribers but with our full community free of charge during these astonishing times. If anyone wishes to make a donation, it would be appreciated.

He stares out the passenger window onto Rt. 4—
spas, sporting goods outlets, exotic pet shops—

then back to the fifteen-hundred-year-old
Aramaic text on the laws of transferring an item

from one domain to another
on the Sabbath. He’s lost his place again,

rereads the line that began our commute
15 minutes earlier.

When we arrive at school, he’ll be tested.
Air filled with mustiness and nerves

as the Head Rabbi enters.
Let go with one hand,

guide and push with the other.
But what if your child is the living example

who disproves the Handbook. Always,
the smiling or bawling son stares away

from the word you point at.
Mystery poking through the chinks

of uniformity—
intuitive soldier, the self.

Click here to read the rest of our Spring/Summer 2020 issue for free.

Yehoshua November colorYEHOSHUA NOVEMBER is the author of two poetry collections, God’s Optimism (a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry) and Two Worlds Exist (a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize). His work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review and on National Public Radio. November teaches writing at Rutgers University and Touro College.

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