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23 April 2011

Sitting Shiva for Yeshua (Jesus)

We came home, to an empty home
to sit shiva for my son
my daughters and I, my sons and 
the ghost of the man who promised to raise him as his own son.

The rabbis say that shiva does not begin until after the burial
but we could not even bury him.

Shabbat HaGadol, the Great Shabbat of Pesach
means that I am anointing a lamb shank with spices
when I were that it was the body of my son.

I think back on the seder plate my daughters set last night
and all I taste is the marror, the bitterness.
The haroset, the sweetness has turned to dust in my mouth.
I can no longer remember its taste.

Sitting on this earthen floor
looking at my bare feet in the light of the shiva candle
I remember his tiny feet and curled toes
and I remember the hammering, hammering, hammering - 
his beautiful feet!

People come and go, bringing food, covering the mirrors
sitting with us.
I see them and then they are gone
a sea of faces
a blur of words
I know they mean well.

Was there a second seder tonight? 
I can't remember.
There are eggs. The Pesach eggs have become shiva eggs.

No one has to remind us not to bathe or dress 
or comb our hair or change our clothes.
I will sit in this place until havdalah
when the sun sets on Shabbat.

Then I will go to him, my child, and bathe him again.
They tell me that I can not, that I should not,
that it will be too hard for me to see him, smell him.
I cannot bear to never see him again.
I cannot bear seven days of this...


  1. Z, I'd say "you're welcome," but I'm not sure I can take credit. It felt like it wrote itself. Of course it came AFTER I preached.