Tradition & Innovation

My Fig Tree

By Nancie S. Martin

Under my fig tree the sunlight filters through the five-lobed leaves
and the grapes from the vine are sweet.
But I cannot sit there now.
In the desert that surrounds us the winds are howling,
the swords clang together over and over,
and lions and lambs alike are slaughtered.
I long for my fig tree. I think of its leaves like a shield of tender hands
as I stand here, shivering with fear,
trying to explain what a ploughshare is.

Sing: Lo yisa goy el goy cherev. Lo yilmedu od milchama…
(Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Let them learn no longer the ways of war.- Isaiah 2:4)

This piece was written for the West End Synagogue on-going Innovative Liturgy Project.  Original pieces and reconstructed  prayers have been written for the High Holy Days, Shabbat, and also for more specific projects such as "psalms", "peace" and the "middah of the month". 

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