Legacy of the Golden Calf
She had my love
and her twin sons,
their lives filled with learning and prayer,
each with twelve children of their own.
I davened with them,
a thousand men close around me,
women in a mezzanine at the back,
the great schul at seven-seventy Eastern Parkway
the world’s home for their faith.
When we said the aleinu,
they all spit on the floor
and on each other in the crush,
disgust for idols, to cleanse
that ancient taint to the tongue,
and because their Rebbe had spit
forty years before.
These days with the virus,
how many will bear death home
to those open wombs?
After, we sat, all together at dinner.
I asked if the women spit too –
I asked out of disgust
and for the children.
No one answered
and I never saw her again.