The Baby Jesus, or: Yeshu haTinok

An American sentence:

If Christ was born on Christmas, his circumcision was held on New Year’s.


What’s an ‘American Sentence’?

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didnโ€™t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove the line structure of the haiku, maintaining the requirement of 17 syllables total. He felt that removing the line count freed the American Sentence up for the idiosyncrasies of English phonemes.

The requirements:

  1. Composed in one line;
  2. Syllabic, 17 syllables;
  3. Condensed, written with no unnecessary words or articles;
  4. Complete sentence or sentences;
  5. Includes a turn or enlightenment.

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

23 thoughts on “The Baby Jesus, or: Yeshu haTinok”

  1. The 25th was chosen because it was the last day of the Roman year and because it is 9 months after the Annunciation. All Irish since though mutually dependent no one knows when Christ’s Mass is. We also Celebrate Holy Family at New Year or Mary Mother Of God, depending on the Ethnicity of the Congregations. 6th January is Epiphany, 3rd February Mary’s Purification.
    Does anyone remember the old Ritual of the Churching of Women? I went with my mother,6 weeks after my sister was born. Women didn’t attend Church until 6 weeks post partum.

  2. Interesting observation. As a matter of fact, in the Catholic Church, New Year’s day is a holy day of obligation to recognize the circumcision of Jesus. Guess i’s a big deal. I mean, I’m circumcised and no one celebrates that. Sour grapes on my part, I guess.

      1. Good thinking, David. If I’m not mistaken, my circumcision was either on my birthday (literal) or the day after. I really don’t remember. Traumatic, I guess.

        1. is that a thing? newborns getting circumcised on the days of their births? I actually have no idea – in Jewish tradition, there’s a concept that we wait 8 days before newborns are considered ready (physically robust enough).

          1. I’m pretty sure it’s done at the time of birth, or shortly thereafter. It’s not so much of a ritual as an assistance with cleanliness. Ironically, my son is NOT circumcised. My ex and I wanted him to be, but he was quite ill at birth (meconium aspiration) so they wouldn’t do it then. We tried later, and the doctors said, if he learns how to keep it clean, it really isn’t necessary. He’s 34 years old now, and doesn’t seem to be any the worse for wear. I understand it’s a Jewish tradition, but I think, in America, the overwhelming majority of males are circumcised, regardless of cultural background. But, yeah, through Catholicism, I knew about the eight days thing in Jewish tradition. Sorry—rambling here. Peace!

          2. Yeah. I think if one keeps his penis clean, there’s no reason other than tradition for cutting the foreskin off. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ

            Thanks, Paul.

  3. you remember one of the ideas that divided the Christians from the Jews was circumcision or not circumcision. pity. imagine an alternate world history where the two stayed together and changed together. no. I don’t think it possible because the Xians think we are all new Zion and that is just stripped and striped mythology. somebody’s dogma got run over by karma. sorry but some differences cannot be glossed over, no matter how hard I try.
    Oh well. Praise the Lord, king of the universe. Blessing be on this food we eat and these holy daze.

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