Loose peoples, or: One tightly knit?

My 1st ‘blues stanza’

Oh, Hebrew has long been our people's tongue
Holy tongue, it's always been our ancient tongue
That few know today for we're so far-flung

Most Jews have seen it only in prayer books
Though most don't ever open up prayer books
How many give the Torah even single looks?

Diaspora Jews from Israel live split
Peoples since Babel times are always split
Are Jews loose peoples or one tightly knit?

Foods, customs, history also cultures define
But more so our shared languages cultures define
We Jews fast unraveling, no longer entwined

We're scattered across shores of oceans blue
Words foreign float across those oceans blue
Oh, what unites us? Perhaps I never knew...

d’Verse prompt:

Blue Tuesday

At d’Verse, we were prompted to “write blue” ~ a splash of blue, an ocean of blue, a shimmer of blue. Gaze into the distance, or look down at the sapphire on your finger. Take us to the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Blue Lagoon. Pour a Blue Monday cocktail, slap some blues on the juke box and let’s poem.


Not for sale(?)

http://cut-the-knot.org/ ~ Not for sale

In 1996, Papa launched his pioneering mathematics website, and, from the very beginning, he refused to put any advertisements on it that he did not explicitly approve of. He also refused to sell his massive site and cede control of its direction, even though he received lucrative offers to do so.

Not only was Papa not in it for the money, but he also took pride in his own vision for mathematics education. He believed profoundly in the inherent beauty of mathematics and self-confidently trusted in his personal ability to convey it. Simply put, ‘Cut The Knot’ was Papa’s identity to those who did not know him in person; and it was the deeply personal culmination of his life’s work.

https://skepticskaddish.com/ ~ Not for sale?

As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, WordPress strongly pushes its bloggers towards monetizing their blogs. The following link is featured centrally on every WordPress blogger’s backend:

Hooray, money!

Clicking on this link provides bloggers with a list of ways to profit from their websites (depending upon their payment plans):

  • Collect payments
    • Accept one-time and recurring credit card payments for physical products, services, memberships, subscriptions, and donations.
  • Collect payments for content
    • Create paid subscription options to share premium content like text, images, video, and any other content on your website.
  • Collect PayPal payments
    • Accept credit card payments via PayPal for physical products, services, donations, or support of your creative work.
  • Accept donations & tips
    • Collect donations, tips, and contributions for your creative pursuits, organization, or whatever your website is about.
  • Send paid email newsletters
    • Share premium content with paying subscribers automatically through email.
  • Earn ad revenue
    • Make money each time someone visits your site by displaying advertisements on all your posts and pages.

But, really, none of these appeal to me, which is why I’ve been thinking back to Papa and his website recently. Ad revenue, tips, payments for content… I feel that any of these would fundamentally change the nature of the Skeptic’s Kaddish in ways that would detract from this organic outlet of mine. The notion of my poetry becoming the basis for transactional exchanges discomfits me.

It’s not that I’m an idealist… it’s just that I’ve come to value my relationships and exchanges with other writers to the point that I can’t imagine monetizing them. I love receiving your feedback and getting to know you – that is a most precious reward.

‘Skeptic’s Kaddish’ ~ The book?

When I established this blog more than one year ago, I had no intention of launching a poetry blog.

At the time, which was not long after I had completed my year of mourning of Papa, I was considering the possibility of writing a book about that most traditional of Jewish experiences, but I did not know how to go about it.

Many people [have] suggested that I publish the ‘Skeptic’s kaddish’ as a book, and while I’ve been giving this serious consideration, it… I feel…


Firstly, I don’t feel done with this journey, even with the close of the first chapter. Secondly, my personal kaddish odyssey assumed the format of a blog rather naturally, with all the advantages and disadvantages that offers. How would one include embedded YouTube videos and lists of hypertext in a bound volume, I wonder?

Lastly, my vision for a book includes a section that I’ve only begun working on – an ethical will.

-Me, ‘Chapter next’, Apr. 30, 2020

Today, I still fantasize about writing a book, but I am less certain than ever before about its direction and substance. In addition to all of my earlier considerations, I am now drawn to writing poetry more than I could ever have expected… and how does one tie that into a book about the mourner’s kaddish?

In truth, I know the answer to that question – writing poetry has actually become a central component of my grieving process; maintaining this very website with Papa’s photo at its top has become part of my grieving process; my reflections upon my faith, identity, and parenting experiences have become part of my grieving process.

But the problem, you see, is that one has to read my blog regularly in order to follow the developments of my grief journey. It evolves every day – from poem to poem – from thought to thought – from experience to experience… Anything that I could write about it in a book would become irrelevant as soon as it was penned; and most of it is subtly tucked away between the lines of my blog posts. Essentially, it’s actually my creative process itself that continues to heal me, more so than my content. How could I even begin to describe that?

In theory, this blog would be the perfect platform for me to launch and promote a book… but I remain too awash in abstract, entangled emotions… healing but ever lost… with nothing but mirages of a horizon before me.

Threat, or: Promise

My 1st Tawddgyrch Cadwynog

Based on a true story

"If you don't play, I'm gonna die!"
Her end was nigh; What could I say?
So? Yay or nay? My child's not shy...
Should I comply? I sighed. "Okay."

Some later day, she threatened me -
"I'll die! You'll see!" sulked little fae.
Patience did fray; I sipped my tea,
Counted to three and frowned her way.

But then I smirked at funny thought.
My wink she caught; had her ploy worked?
I acted irked, though smile I fought;
Small shoulders caught; away she jerked.

I tickled her to save the dear;
She, in fifth gear, her arms a blur;
To tricks deter one must be clear...
Instill some fear... teach, as it were.