Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rabbi James Stone Goodman

The Aristocratic Shabbes Bride

The Aristrocratic Shabbes Bride
She arrives on Friday evening
as if for a wedding
– do we imagine her?
dressed all in white
the jewels the train of the bride
the costuming
where’d she get that dress?
We do. We do imagine her,
We sing her a wedding song
the wedding party
we anticipate her as the sun
makes its way home in the west.
We dress nicely for her
[it’s a wedding]!
We dress in white
wool cool in the summer
warm in the winter
the way wool holds the body heat
wool made from sheep ordinarily
could be made from rabbits I suppose
or Cashmere
made from goats,
I suppose you could make wool from any furry creature
but not that greasy cat that lives in my basement
wool from sheep’s wool from sheep
sheep’s wool has scales that overlap
like shingles on a roof,
Wool taken from sheep produced for meat
typically it’s more coarse
merino wool, nice, very fine
moths love it.
Don’t think me irreverant to describe the mystical bride
this way.
– it’s just
that I am seeing her as I write this
and the wool is
fine, fine
The wool is clean white long fine
and free of defects from the environment
that alone would be worthy of a proper welcome
especially from someone like James Joyce
or Dylan Thomas who wrote poetry and
wore wool, scratchy, smelling like tobacco.
Neither of them would think that the whole Shabbes bride
imagery was a lot of hooey
I guarantee it
they would go deep into it
for its beauty in language and form
and for its wool that they wore every day,
greeting her or not.
Wool has greater crimp,
crimp –
the number of bends per unit length along the wool fiber
a fine wool like merino may have up to a hundred
crimps an inch
wool fabrics have great bulk and retain air
which causes WOOL to retain heat.
It works both ways
how do we understand that?
Bedouins of the great deserts and Tuaregs wear
wool to keep the heat out.
I saw this myself in the Sinai
my Bedouin driver wore wool sweaters buttoned up in 120 degree heat.
He didn’t sweat into the wool either.
Well, gotta go –
The sun is skating down her dress the last of its rays
she is looking for us
it’s time to welcome her
this way: Come my beloved
let us greet her
the wedding song the wedding poem
forget about what she’s wearing
sing the wedding poem:

Lecha Dodi likrat kalah
p’nai Shabbat n’kabbelah.

Shhh, here she comes
the Bride
check out the wool
yes, yes it is fine white
well crimped
can’t make out the details
only this:
She has come looking for God.
jsg, usa

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