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12 Years a Slave at 10,000 Feet [a #poem]

12 Years a Slave at 10,000 Feet [a #poem]
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor

can't live with my eyes
forced them open
blinked back blinding tears
witnessed degradation reenacted
on a screen at 10,000 feet.

a black man
stolen, beaten,


suddenly a hand on my shoulder.
"would you like something to drink, sir?"
i look up into her smiling, friendly face.
her black face.

pressed pause.

though the distance
between real and act was clear
they also suddenly merged,
and i felt ashamed to ask
for anything.

forced myself to breathe and act normal,
to ask, to request
- not ordered, not that word - 
a drink.

stared at that ginger ale in shock,
couldn't drink it
just watched it sit there.

hot, horrified tears on my cheeks.
forced myself to look up
pressed pause again.

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To Kneel [a #Poem]

To Kneel 

(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance.
Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm,
calling God out,
standing at the center of a whirlwind
holding your ground.

No cathedral is immune to agony,
no soul impervious to life itself no nation purely noble.
If it were any other way,
there would be no need for cathedrals
in the first place.

Kneel,  stand,  sit,  rise up.

To kneel is
to submit  to lower oneself  to step down  to pause.
To kneel is to call attention  to touch the Earth's face to listen to those  whose blood saturates  the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside  to step outside  to invite others to come closer  to remember.
To kneel is not to stand not to stand not to stand idly by.
Speak your truth,
God damn it.

That's what God wants most of all.

Then There Will Be Enough" - A reflection on this week's #Torah Portion. #toldot #life #wisdom