God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion
Ain’t Got No Press / August 2017 / Paperback / Ebook / 134 Pages
With just a few exquisite words, Rick Lupert fills in the white spaces between the Torah’s words, and offers holy insight, life wisdom, reverent irreverence, and sacred depth. It takes a poet to find the poetry of Torah, and a great teacher to share it. Rick is both. His book is a gift to us all. –Rabbi Ed Feinstein
One can always count on Rick to see things in ways that we would not otherwise have seen them. He has succeeded in finding messages within each parashah that are simultaneously uniquely personal and entirely universal. Humor and depth abound. Rick amplifies the timeless nature of the words of Torah, and fills each page with new perspectives. –Cantor Ellen Dreskin
Rick Lupert’s poetry is witty, knowing, wise, and a tonic to the seeking soul. –Rabbi David Wolpe
A poem for each of the weekly Torah portions, written by Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert who immersed himself in the weekly text and came out on the other side with a poem that adds humor, modern insight, and “reverent irreverence” to his interpretations of these ancient stories around which modern-day Judaism has developed. This collection of Jewish poetry adds to Lupert’s growing canon of Judaic liturgy interpretations which have found receptive audiences and readers, from all over the world, who are seeking modern interpretations of our oldest text.
Poetry from God Wrestler
In the beginning God made everything.
According to scientists, the beginning
took billions of years.
I’ve taken to counting my ribs.
I want there to be one less so
I have something to believe in.
At the very least
I’m responsible for naming the animals
who live in my house.
I’ve built a garden in the front
and in the back. I can’t eat the fruit
because the possum gets there first.
I call a man in periodically
to keep it looking like paradise.
He brings others to help him.
There are so many more people
eating forbidden fruits
than when all this started.
Consider the very first Jew – Abraham.
Not even his name when the whole thing started.
Had a reputation. The kind of kid
who would destroy the family business.
out of principle. Married the first nice Jewish girl.
Neither of them actually Jewish
when the whole thing started.
The very first converts. Broken idols
noticed by the One who would not be idolized.
The One who gave them the deal of a lifetime.
Go to the shown place. Pack up everything.
No-one likes to move. Something’s going to get broken.
Something’s going to get lost.
But consider what was gained.
Longer names…holier names…
and a bloodline long enough
to see the whole world still trying
to get to the shown place.
I’d like to trade all my possessions
for the Hebrew letter hey.
Pick up extra work as a star in the sky
promised to an ancient ancestor.
That deal you made, Father Abraham.
The ink’s still drying.
I’m a grain of sand.