The Parsha Social Network

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There are all sorts of blogs in this world. Some are personal diaries. Some are work-related, or publicity, or collections of photographs of movie stars. My personal favorite, Mayim Bialik’s blog, is a record of laboratory experiments performed for her neuroscience Ph.D.

Andres Amitai Wilson, a classical guitarist, poet, and a student at Yeshivat Hadar, recently started a blog called Poem HaShavua.

It’s a pretty simple idea, and a pretty elegant one. There’s an idea that we’re supposed to read part of the weekly Torah portion every day, and somehow incorporate that into our lives. It seems like there’s no better way to incorporate it than by reading the parsha and reacting to it with a creative idea of your own. It’s part midrash, and part conversation with the text. And it’s all Jewish.

Here’s part of Amitai’s excellent poem “Dreams Follow after the Mouth,” which — of course — is based on Joseph’s premonitory dreams. What I didn’t know is that the opening line is taken from the Talmud, the simple kind of wisdom that’s both thrilling and sort of scary. It’s one of those things that we all know, but we never actually realize.

“All dreams follow after the mouth”
and sprout like foamy silt,
bubbles swelling to a constant pop
Like seven cows that burst through the Nile,
Robust, ripe as sex, blushing the
Pudic cheeks of the moon.

Exile is the ultimate dream.
Hardly gaunt like a plague,
Stumbling from rat to rat,
Flea to flea,
But the fish we remember,
Boneless, bountiful
The poison netting
Of a flowing trap.

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Posted on January 5, 2010

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