Merle Feld, “We All Stood Together,” A Spiritual Life: A Jewish Feminist Journey, p. 205.

 

Original Text:

My brother and I were at Sinai
He kept a journal
of what he saw
of what he heard
of what it all meant to him
I wish I had such a record
of what happened to me
It seems like every time I want to write
I can't
I'm always holding a baby
one of my own
or one of my friend
always holding a baby
so my hands are never free
to write things down
And then
As time passes
the particulars
the hard data
the who what when where why
slip away from me
and all I'm left with is
the feeling
But feelings are just sounds
The vowel barking of a mute
my brother is so sure of what he heard
after all he's got a record of it
consonant after consonant after consonant
If we remembered it together
we could recreate holy time
sparks flying

Translation:

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How is the protagonist's experience different from her brother's? Why?
2. What issues of women's empowerment in this poem are still true today?
3. What would have needed to happen for the protagonist to be a full participant?

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Related Sourcesheets:Women in the Talmud, Women's Place at Sinai

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