Wednesday, July 26, 2006

POETICA:REFLECTIONS OF JEWISH THOUGHT, Publisher/Editor Michal Mahgerefteh, or Poetica, P.O.Box 11014, Norfolk, VA 23517.$14.00/year, $5.00/issue. July, 2006. Review by Hugh Fox.

Given the current political context, when I started reading Poetica I expected something furious, agitated, militaryish, rebellious, but the main tone here is a kind of Jewish almost-Buddhism. Sometimes even Jewish-Buddhistic impressionism: "Morning fog unfurls, brushing Pacific cliffs.... Houses and cars must exist somewhere, but not in this world filled with soft silence. Dim shapes might be cypress or cedars, birds, butterflies or nothing. Hummingbirds may be hovering, lilies may be blooming, but I stand alone, wrapped in a tallit woven of lavendar, rosemary, sea mist and far away light." (Davi Walders, Mendocino Sabbath, p. 52)

Most of the time here Judaism here seems remote, nostalgic, something beautiful, held in high esteem...but very much in the past: "The old days were better; there is no doubt that we learned a lot from our Jewish parents who taught us the Jewish way of life..... ah, yes, those old days were so much better.... and no one can ever take them away from us. " ( pp. 55-56) " The pressures of the contemporary world seem to have taken over.Childhood was belief-time, the present is the absence of and the longing for a return of belief: Source of All Life, how long will I feel isolated and alone -- removed from all that is godly? How long will I be troubled and full of sadness? How long will everything seem to go against me? I want to believe in you, to know you are out there. Give me the courage to see clearly. Keep me from sinking into despair..... " (Psalm #13, Eva Miodownik Oppenheim, p.37)

All in all a very touching, meaningful, contemplative-philosophical review, nothing wasted or minor here, but all major confrontations with thePhilosophical-Mystical Reality of a Judaism out there that surrounds us, has us and we hope continues to surround us.

Hugh Fox/Ibbetson Update

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