Jewish Poems

Jewish Poems

There are Seven Blessings at the End of the Rainbow

Thank you to Congregation B’nai Israel of Vallejo for inviting me to read this poem at Rainbow Shabbat as an alternative Aleinu prayer on June 12, 2020.

There are Seven Blessings at the End of the Rainbow
by D.L. Lang

I tiptoed through the wildfires of my youth
as my fellow humans treated me with cruelty,
and as it burned, it is there I found my voice,
learning compassion for all humanity,
daring not to emulate those who declared me their enemy.


They seemed to revel in their daily hatred, 
taking aim and making threats. I’d done nothing wrong,
but they chose to condemn me when I had no choice.


Hiding their venomous hatred behind words of faith,
their lips repeating as much gossip as their gospel,
their self-righteousness lead them to commit acts of violence
that they justified in the name of a man who taught love.


Beneath the lonely sting of slurs and rocks, 
praying for mercy
as my body tumbled to the ground,
it is there I heard the holiest of sounds:
a people enrobed in rainbows, 
fighting for the freedom to love.


If you’ve been walking through the darkness,
may you become awash in infinite blessings of love,
so that your spirit may again rise up towards the light.


May shame become an unwelcome stranger in our hearts, 
washed away by a healing tide of pride
that empowers us all to freely be whomever we are inside.


May the love we make fill this world with compassion and kindness
until hatred has no room to grow in our neighbor’s hearts.


May these numerous pathways in which love manifests within us
bring us closer toward the better world for which we all yearn,
a world of acceptance where all may exist without fear.


May we awaken each day with renewed strength to stand up
for what is right and make that world a reality.


May we all join together in solidarity
with our brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings
for our collective love is more powerful than hatred.


May you all be sheltered and comforted by God’s rainbow above
for at the end of any rainbow there is only abounding love.








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Jewish Poems, Poems from the book Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology

Penguin’s Prayer

Today Lee Lee, Erika, Diana Tenes, Lady D and I went on the Art Beat show on OZCAT for what shall be the first of many poetry radio shows. The next poetry show will be broadcast at 10 AM Pacific on April 5th featuring Benicia Poet Laureate Johanna Ely and several other Benicia Poets. Future shows will be May 3, June 28, and third Thursdays thereafter.

If you are on a computer with Internet Explorer, you can listen to the archive here. The poetry starts about 30 minutes into the broadcast.

I read “Penguin’s Prayer” along with “Headline Antidote.”

Penguin’s Prayer

Over caffeinated insomniacs, dreaming,
dancing prayers, singing prophets,
jiving on java, juice, and Jewish jams.

Surrounded by the soulful symphonies,
shouting their joyful jubilation skyward,
cheerfully chanting holy Hebrew haikus.

Voices unite these moonlighting weekend angels’
ascending rhythms, rhymes, relaxing.

Work week’s woeful ways escaping.
Ecstasy’s entrance in every breath.

Nourished by the notes, a comforting chorus,
the beat of bongos, poetic prayers.

United in friendship—happiness distilled.
Rising thoughts of infinite gratitude.

Pain dare not penetrate these happy holy hangovers.
Holding to these fleeting moments of heaven.

Abundant sparks, shimmering to the surface of our souls.

Reprinted from Abundant Sparks (2013)

Penguin’s Prayer from the album Happy Accidents by D.L. Lang
Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology

Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology

$15.00$9.99eBook: $1.99
Author:
Series: Poetry Paperbacks, Book 2
Genre: Poetry
Tag: Recommended Books
Publication Year: 2013, 2015
Length: 162 pages
ASIN: B00CPVYH06
ISBN: 1511726660

Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology combines D.L. Lang's second and third ebooks into one paperback. This poetry collection offers poems spanning the silly to the spiritual. The poems were largely transcribed from notebooks by her husband and soul mate, Timothy Lang. There is a mix of poetry written in 2013 as well as older poems from the author's archives.

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About the Book
Preview on Google Books Local bookstores and libraries often provide venues for poets and local authors, and many of them have invited me to read over the years, so when possible, please shop local! Any bookstore should be able to special order it for you using the ISBN, so please utilize your local independent bookshop. Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology combines D.L. Lang’s second and third ebooks into one paperback. This poetry collection offers poems spanning the silly to the spiritual. The poems were largely transcribed from notebooks by her husband and soul mate, Timothy Lang. There is a mix of poetry written in 2013 as well as older poems from the author’s archives. Reviews of the Abundant Sparks ebook: This eclectic collection of about 70 poems from poet D.L. Lang embodies the spirit of American poetry–diverse and without rules. You probably don’t know D.L. Lang; I don’t know her either. Or do I? After reading this outstanding collection of original works, I feel that in a strong sense, I do. I believe you will too, and you’ll find your time reading Abundant Sparks joyfully well spent.” – J.A. Wallace “I found this collection of poetry to be exceptional in its diversity and intensity. The selection of poems gives the reader an excellent feel for this budding star poet’s abilities in writing and observation. The book also shows that the poet has a good feel for her readers, in the order that the poetry was presented. Overall, the best book of poetry that I have read in quite some time.” – North Woods “From deeply (and universally) personal to powerfully observant, Diana Lang is a brilliant poetess. The goosebumps of powerful distillations tune the reader at the book’s beginning with poetry that appears to be the author’s most recent verse. D.L. (Diana) Lang is a name to note and remember. Highly recommended reading.” – Julia Busch “Lang’s facility with language never ceases to astonish me. And she does it again in this new collection. If you want an example, read the first poem, Penguin’s Prayer. A must read.” – Helen C. Page   Thank you to the judges at the 2015 Solano County Fair for awarding “Generation Awake!” with 2nd place in the Published Poetry category! You can read this and other poems from this book by visiting the poetry blog. Excerpt from the foreword:
These are two books that my husband, Tim, helped me compile when I couldn’t. I am grateful for his help. They were originally published as two separate eBooks in 2013. Both sections of this text contain many poems from my archives that I wrote as a teenager in Enid, Oklahoma. Due to the uncertainty about my being able to continue writing at the time of compilation, my aim was to archive everything that I had written thus far, good or bad, polished or raw. I wrote the newer selections of Abundant Sparks between October 2011 and May 2013 while I was still working and living in San Rafael. The newer pieces in Personal Archeology, on the other hand, I created between May 2013 and November 2013 during a time of uncertainty and personal reflection. The title poem examines a handful of my famous relatives, as I am distantly related to the following historical figures: Karl Ludwig Sand, Azeline Hearne, Dicey Langston, Jack Reed. Due to medical restrictions and a lack of inspiration following an injury that left me unable to type without severe pain, I ceased writing for the majority of 2014 until I attended my first open mic that December, which relit my inner poetic flame. I delayed releasing this paperback until 2015, coinciding with the release of Look Ma! No Hands! when dictation software allowed me to write again. This version was re-edited by the author in 2017, primarily because punctuation is the bane of my existence, leaving previous editions with too many errors to be ignored, and my poetry formatting style has since changed to not capitalize first letters of every line.
2013 cover for Abundant Sparks
Personal Archeology
2013 cover for Personal Archeology
  Full list of poems included in this volume: Penguin’s Prayer Mistranslations The Snarkadelic Word Smith Awaits the Penguin Whisperer Color Nature Plowshares Squared Main Street Café Misfortune Cookies Victory Planetary Heartburn Suffering: Now Available In HD Platitudes You Heavenly Earthly Bodies Basherti Despair Casts Its Ballot Silver Winged Predators Perpetually  Cardboard and Freedom The Harder We Fall Ghosts of History The Wall Between Us Fried Shomer Invisible Companions Oh, My Dear Heart I Cry Out Floetry Illusions Of Age If It Bleeds, It Leads Generation Awake! Dawn Remaining Reminders Desires Of Destruction Today The Penguin Poet Pillars Poetitis Clicking Depression’s Delicious Dance Midnight Morning Transient Curse Bulldog Snuster Guide My Ghost Against The Wind All Final Destination Unknown Deux Faux Amies The Fight…For Right Friendship I Fright Flight Gossip Happiness Hard Times How? If You Knew, Tell Me Lazy Lost Friend Insanity Silly Purple Chrome Poem The Ranger We All Shine On Title of the Story The Wish Disasterpiece The Words Bootstraps Substitutes Maximum Simplicity Poet’s Pride Industrial Strength Strife Pavement Studies, Ph.D. Dictatered by MFN Hashtag Penguinface This Side Up Diner of Death Oblivious Pain Street Brother Soul Dance My Promise Laborer’s Prayer The Compromise Wilderness A Divine Anger Enabler of Life Rising Above The Pit Geographic Freedom Soul . Dining With Your Skeleton She Awoke In Heaven Letting In The Light Personal Archeology 21 Breaking Free Too Many Deeds Misaligned Our Creeds Realignment Candles Rekindled Sentimental Anachronisms The Laundry Prophet My Evil Twin Bono Vince Malum Witnessing The World The Ladder Mother’s Road Crissy Defeating Dumbfounded Diffidence Time Is Relative To Love Our Guardian, Our Leader The Mandala Rediscovery Growth Haight Suburbia Contentment Eviction Of Humanity High Priority Lows The Dreamer We Fell Asleep To Dream Anew Infatuation
Hi! Enjoying what you’re reading? Please consider buying a book, or using the donation button on the sidebar. Poets aren’t always compensated for our performances and efforts, and doing so would help out greatly and ensure this website stays around for years to come.
All of my gigs have been cancelled until further notice. Please stay safe everyone. If you would like to support me at this time, please consider buying one of my books from your favorite online retailer.

About the Author
D.L. Lang

D.L. Lang is a contemporary American poet and spoken word artist. The author of over a dozen poetry books, Lang has been writing poetry for over 25 years. She has performed her poetry on stage hundreds of times at protest rallies, county fairs, literary festivals, open mics, poetry circles, bookstores, libraries, and live radio broadcasts.

From 2017 to 2019 she served as Vallejo, California's Poet Laureate. Her poems have been awarded with numerous county fair ribbons, transformed into songs, used as liturgy for prayer, and to advocate for peace, justice, and a better world.

The scribe of over 1,200 poems from haiku to free verse to masterful rhyme, covering a wide variety of topics, D.L. Lang has poetry that's sure to delight. Lang dabbles in both gritty realism and surrealistic wordplay, sorrowful elegy and uplifting affirmations. Her poetry is a mixture of topical political commentary, religious devotional meditations, and poetic autobiographical memoir. Her words take you on journeys deep into nature, memory, spirituality, and the whisperings of the heart.

She is the author of Tea & Sprockets, Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology, Look Ma! No Hands!, Poet Loiterer, Id Biscuits, Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Armor Against The Dawn, Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays, Resting on My Laurels, The Cafe of Dreams, Midnight Strike, and This Festival of Dreams. She has also released a chapbook compilation entitled Wanderings, a Jewish poetry compilation entitled Paradise Collectors, and her debut spoken word album entitled Happy Accidents, and is the editor of Voices, Verses & Visions of Vallejo.

Her poetry has also been published in the Benicia Herald, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, ReformJudaism.org, Poetry Expressed, Frost Meadow Review, and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. Her poetry has been anthologized in A Poet’s Siddur (Ain’t Got No Press, 2017), Light & Shadow (Benicia Literary Arts, 2018), Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21 (2018), and Verses, Voices & Visions of Vallejo (2019).

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Jewish Poems, Poems from the book Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays, Poetry

Hanukkah Train

My husband challenged me to write this poem last year as we found ourselves listening to old folk songs last Hanukkah. It appears in the book Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays.

Hanukkah Train

This train’s fueled by spirit, not by power nor by might.
Passing through the countryside, she’s shining holy lights.
Nothing can stop her, she’s going all through the night.

She’s an eight car hammer running through the mountains.
Hobos are jumping up just as fast as they can get in.
The last car’s left open, cause it’s meant for them to stay in.

Blessings are sung soulfully as every passenger watches.
The dining car is busily serving up mountains worth of latkes.
Kids are spinning dreidels and unwrapping their new tchotchkes.

One car down you can hear the musicians praying and playing.
Hebrew, English, Yiddish, folks are singing, dancing, swaying.
This car’s so packed with joy, and much more’ll find its way in.

Each car’s glowing brightly, lit by the flames of the menorah.
Loving families gather closely, happily studying the Torah.
There’s plenty of room inside, ‘cause we even saved a seat for ya.

Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays

Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays

$9.99eBook: $4.99
Author:
Series: Poetry Paperbacks, Book 9
Genre: Poetry
Tag: Recommended Books
ASIN: 1548437727
ISBN: 9781548437725

Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays is D.L. Lang's 9th poetry collection. It is comprised of over 100 pages of inspirational, personal, fictional, and political poetry.

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About the Book

Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays is D.L. Lang’s 9th poetry collection. It is comprised of over 100 pages of inspirational, personal, fictional, and political poetry.

Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays contains a handful of award-winning poems.

Please click to read all the award-winning poems.

Thank you to the 2017 Alameda County Fair for awarding “Expectations of a Future” a Silver Award.

The following poems which appear in this book won awards in
creative writing at the 2017 Marin County Fair:

  • “The Sixties”, First Place in Flashback to the 60’s Poetry
  • “Lift Off!”, First Place in Fair Themed Poetry
  • “Street Mouse”, Second Place in Any other Haiku
  • “Sally”, Third Place in My Pet

My deepest gratitude to the judges.

 

Smashwords e-book edition: 9780463169421

Smashwords makes ebooks compatible with all major e-reading devices in .mobi, .epub, .pdf, .lrf, .pdb, and plain text formats. The ebook will also soon be available through Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, and Kobo.

Also available to libraries through OverDrive, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Tolino, Gardners (Askews & Holts and Browns Books for Students), Bibliotheca CloudLibrary, Odilo and Califa’s Enki

Read all of the poems posted on the blog from Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays.

Local bookstores and libraries often provide venues for poets and local authors, and many of them have invited me to read over the years, so when possible, please shop local! Any bookstore should be able to special order it for you using the ISBN, so please utilize your local independent bookshop.

A huge thanks to local photographer, Jessica Brown, who shot the cover image for this book!

A penguin superhero in a pose of strength with a sign that says “Save the Humans!”

Jessica Brown brought this vision to life, shooting the cover photo and author photo with me in costume on a very humid August 3rd, 2017 at the Mare Island Nature Preserve in Vallejo.

Excerpt from the foreword:

Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays is my 9th poetry collection comprised of poems that were written between December 2016 and June 2017. The title came about as I was stopped at a red light. A local restaurant had a sign on the corner that said, “Catfish Today,” so as a way of passing the time I broke down those words and came up with additional phrases that contained a compound word with an animal and a time period.

My aim with this book was to try to largely be uplifting and distracting as an antidote to the often heartbreaking chaos of the world today, so there are intentionally less topical poems than in previous collections. My two personal favorites of this variety are “Where are the Heroes?” and “Affirmations of a Dream” which close out the book. “Cats on Caravan” and “IWWD” refer to my experience of the Women’s March and Strike.

As I was preparing my entries for area fairs this year, I wrote “Lift Off!” describing the experience of the fair. “The Sixties” was written to fit the theme of the Marin County Fair that is honoring the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. I was not alive in those years, obviously, but tried to write from the perspective of someone who was. It is one period in American history that continues to fascinate me. I’m quite pleased that both were awarded blue ribbons.

 

I also spent a lot of time reminiscing about my childhood haunt in Enid, Oklahoma, a field down by the railroad tracks that’s now called Oakwood Nature Park, so “Blanton-Kiowa Line” captures the history of that area.  I’ve developed an affinity for train songs, so my husband challenged me to write “Hanukah Train” as we found ourselves listening to old folk songs this past Hanukah.

This volume brings the total of my published poems to 918. While it will be the first book released after being named the 2nd Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California, poems written during that tenure will be released in future books. This milestone provides a natural closing point for this book.

Thanks for reading!

Complete list of poems included in this volume:

Expectations of a Future

Wildflowers

Dog-eared Yesterdays

Balcony Dreams

Celestial Scenes

A Pillow for the Heart

There are…

Holy Stumblings

Spring in the City

Choose to Be

Parallels

And If They Can, Why Can’t We?

At the Intersection

There’s a Peace in Slowness

How to Read Poetry

The Seeker

Happy Place

Those of Gentle Hearts

Traffic Jammer

Birds in Harmony

Each One of Us

Dreams Demand

Go Down Easy

Yes

A Circle of Dreams

The Sixties

Lift Off!

Dixon May Fair

Waterfront Observations

Island Poem

Generation Transformation

All I’ve Got Left of You

Time Overdrawn

Bright Light

Hanukah Train

Blanton-Kiowa Line

Enid

Sunrise

Praying for Rain

April Foolery

Anytime

Hang On to Your Soul

Sally

The Talebearer

Zing

A Home

One Two

Somewhere Beyond

Personal Evolution

Like Broken Glass

Moments

Old Songs

Sparked by Melody

Renewed

Awe

As the Sun

Street Mouse

Class Participation

Beachside

A Napa Moment

Mall Walker

epic history poem

Antisocial Media

The Way to Contentment

Humanity

Brightest

Greed’s Disconnect

Although

Ochlocracy

Politics

This Earth Day

Stay Lit

On Fear

Lines

Dear Land of the Free

IWWD

What if?

Radioactive Returns

Cats on Caravan

New Old America

Immigrants’ Truth

What’s It Gonna Take?

Not Your Problem?

You Cannot See Through Gold

Where are the Heroes?

Affirmations of a Dream

 


Hi! Enjoying what you’re reading? Please consider buying a book, or using the donation button on the sidebar. Poets aren’t always compensated for our performances and efforts, and doing so would help out greatly and ensure this website stays around for years to come.


All of my gigs have been cancelled until further notice. Please stay safe everyone. If you would like to support me at this time, please consider buying one of my books from your favorite online retailer.


Endorsements
"Author D.L. Lang's masterful "Dragonfly Tomorrows and Dog-eared Yesterdays" proves just exactly why the talented Author has been crowned poet laureate of California state in the city of Vallejo, leaving us in complete awe with some of the most immaculate verses and compassionate words! An ingenious visionary and virtuous human moral-compass, Lang makes writing poetry seem effortless, hypnotizing us with fantasy-like analogies that cleverly unravel meaningful and philosophical multi-layered themes. Each theme underlines and mirrors many different colors and faces of life and humanity. Author D.L. Lang's lovely portraits of inspiration captivate us with beautiful, provoking portrayals of art that appear to symbolize strengths such as ambition, creation and imagination, yet and still, her picturesque illustrations don't shy her away from exposing her core, jagged, blunt truth one bit. This ironic combination or blend of visual beauty, art and graphics is even more compelling when interwoven with personal, societal and collective humanistic ideas and theories near to the Author's heart."
About the Author
D.L. Lang

D.L. Lang is a contemporary American poet and spoken word artist. The author of over a dozen poetry books, Lang has been writing poetry for over 25 years. She has performed her poetry on stage hundreds of times at protest rallies, county fairs, literary festivals, open mics, poetry circles, bookstores, libraries, and live radio broadcasts.

From 2017 to 2019 she served as Vallejo, California's Poet Laureate. Her poems have been awarded with numerous county fair ribbons, transformed into songs, used as liturgy for prayer, and to advocate for peace, justice, and a better world.

The scribe of over 1,200 poems from haiku to free verse to masterful rhyme, covering a wide variety of topics, D.L. Lang has poetry that's sure to delight. Lang dabbles in both gritty realism and surrealistic wordplay, sorrowful elegy and uplifting affirmations. Her poetry is a mixture of topical political commentary, religious devotional meditations, and poetic autobiographical memoir. Her words take you on journeys deep into nature, memory, spirituality, and the whisperings of the heart.

She is the author of Tea & Sprockets, Abundant Sparks & Personal Archeology, Look Ma! No Hands!, Poet Loiterer, Id Biscuits, Barefoot in the Sanctuary, Armor Against The Dawn, Dragonfly Tomorrows & Dog-eared Yesterdays, Resting on My Laurels, The Cafe of Dreams, Midnight Strike, and This Festival of Dreams. She has also released a chapbook compilation entitled Wanderings, a Jewish poetry compilation entitled Paradise Collectors, and her debut spoken word album entitled Happy Accidents, and is the editor of Voices, Verses & Visions of Vallejo.

Her poetry has also been published in the Benicia Herald, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, ReformJudaism.org, Poetry Expressed, Frost Meadow Review, and the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. Her poetry has been anthologized in A Poet’s Siddur (Ain’t Got No Press, 2017), Light & Shadow (Benicia Literary Arts, 2018), Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Vol. 21 (2018), and Verses, Voices & Visions of Vallejo (2019).

Look Inside
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Jewish Poems, Poetry

My Shul

My community at Rodef Sholom has become my family, as my blood relations still live in the south, and I live in California. I would largely say that I grew more since moving to California than in any other place. Why? Because I got involved with my synagogue, and they gave me leadership opportunities, put me in situations for growth that I would not have encountered otherwise in life, and as I have had an extremely difficult life, they have been there for me unlike anyone else other than my own family. Sometimes in ways that my family could not be there for me.

As a convert, I was spiritually born at Rodef, I came of age as an adult Bat Mitzvah at Rodef, and I found myself as an artist at Rodef due to finding amazing artists who encouraged me like never before to chase after my dreams. I volunteered for the Chevra Kadisha and the Sisterhood until my work injury took a lot of my ability away. I miss being able to give of myself like that more than anything that my health struggles have robbed me of. I even tried and failed to get into rabbinical school, but as I’m halakhically intermarried, no can do. They even let me lean up against their wall for the cover of Poet Loiterer.

They believed in me, and through everything, they still do. Even if I don’t believe in everything from my religion, they stay with me, and even though they’re 30 miles away, my heart is with them. My shul is the closest thing to a heaven on earth that I know. Rarely do I walk into a place to be greeted by warm hugs and cheek kisses and people who genuinely care about me, and who aren’t afraid to tell me when I mess up, and forgive me when I do.

I came home yesterday to find the congregational newsletter, and they had reprinted one of my poems. I’m posting this as a “thank you” and to my home away from home away from home, to my community, to my friends, to my tribe, to my people, as an “I love you.” I don’t say those words easily, nor lightly, but in this case, I mean it.

If you want to hear me read this, hit my soundcloud. If you want to see me perform it, hit my YouTube. It was first printed in the WRS newsletter in December 2013. It’s on my album Happy Accidents, and part of the book Look Ma! No Hands!, but such material things are not my reason for sharing this. Merely gratitude.

My Shul by D.L. Lang

My shul pursues peace.
In fact, that’s its name.
With these folks it ain’t all talk.
They give so much it hurts.
My shul is my heart expressed
in a building of community.

My shul gives you space to grow.
My shul greets you with a hug.
My shul delivers more than challahs.
My shul has a pizza in its ceiling.
My shul has a couch for the weary.

My shul makes my soul sing.
My shul marches in protests.
My shul lights bonfires of understanding.
My shul’s mikvah is the ocean.

My shul does yoga and meditation.
My shul rocks out to sixties music.
My shul attracts the artists.
My shul encourages dancing.

My shul gathers in living rooms.
My shul hikes the mountains.
My shul sings in holy circles on the beach.

My shul is so amazing,
because more than anywhere else,
My shul lets me be me.

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