These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

What is Torah to Me?

Posted on March 14, 2013 by Annie Matan Gilbert

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From my blog:

This piece is a response to a prompt by Melila Helner Eshed in a class at the Shalom Hartman Institute.

Stories within stories
Clamping shut and
Breaking open
With sharp, jagged edges
That draw blood
And push me back
So I stay at arm’s length

But inside, if I stretch the skin
Rolled open wide
There is sweet, healing water
And fire
In the spaces between the spaces
Of letters and crowns
I find queens, priestesses, mothers
Named and unnamed.

Torah is a gift of and for generations
And also a heavy burden
Locked to wooden posts
Waiting for the hammerblow
That can transform them
Back into mirrors of guardians
Scrying bowls of temple keepers
Ink on skin.