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israel is the golden calf

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The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin (Image: Wikipedia)

The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin (Image: Wikipedia)

for Tisha B’av August 4, 2014 

This is thy god, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Exodus 32 verse 4

Tisha B’av commemorates the false report
jews accepted wandering in the desert
when we got to worshiping idols.

Abraham broke the idols
in his fathers corner store
cuz he was certain
G-d is one.

the biggest atrocity that has befallen jewish people today
and in the last 100 plus years is the acceptance of these false reports
and the worship of the state of Israel.

israel the idol.
israel the false G-d.
israel the golden calf.

Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern zionism
a german speaking assimilated hungarian secular
jew, in his diary in 1895 regarding the indigenous

population in Palestine, meaning there were people there
already called Palestinians, wrote:
We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border…
denying it employment in our country.

and so it begins or continues
the claiming of a land is not ours.
the assimilated colonized mind
of jews living comfortable in european
empires learning from the imperial powers
they wave flags in.

we covet those flags
and want to wave one
of our own.

the posh snobbery of western european
assimilated jewish men became the fathers
of israel. they are the racist grandfathers
at the heads our dinner tables
at the heads of our states
and 2 state solutions.
they have told the same
lies and false histories
since 1897 at the first zionist congress
in Basel, Switzerland.

Herzel wrote that israel would be
a colony part of a wall of defense
for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization
against barbarism, he said.

i give you israel’s father
and the father’s he fathered
and the father’s after him.

israel the dumb brute.

you’ve built an empire
just like europe, just like america
and have 1.8 million Palestinians
in a corner of Gaza and bomb
them in hospitals and bomb them
in schools

now you make your own genocide
your own ethnic cleaning
your own holocaust

this is what you are doing.

you are ridding a people from a land

you goliath

israel the golden calf
the false g-d

we worship
we war/ship

this is what happens
when you build a state
when you erect borders
when you define yourself
in opposition to another.
when you other

israel I do not want a seat at your table.
i will eat with the goyium you so despise
or i will eat alone

i do not want aliyah.
the audacity of ascending
to a higher place
a place where there is life
already and love
and generations
we now murder.

your city of peace
is a city of death.

i renounce my citizenship.

we are a Diaspora people
meant to wander, to make
all the world a home
for us and for all
to call everywhere
not one plot of land
it’s a metaphor!
you literalists!
you racists!
you european / american genocidal mimics!
you maniacs!

our gift has been making every/where funky

not one land but all land
not one people but all people
we were chosen to wander
Zion is ahead, is a future
we work toward, the messiah
not a person, but a time

israel you are an empire.
you have warheads and weaponry
used to dismantle homes and families
and persons from breath. your water is blood
Gaza a gas chamber you round
Palestinians in.

israel you are the golden calf
but i am still a jew.
i see you prostrating in front of idols

kill your idols!
fuck your idols!

every young person
every young jew
every person not named netanyahu
not a israeli prime minister war criminal

we have been lied to
we have been manipulated
we have been coerced

your jewishness is not dependent
upon an undying loyalty to a state
that murders in your name.

israel is not a religion.
israel is the golden calf
and G-d is
a child in Gaza

and this is holocaust
this is genocide
this is ethnic cleansing
this is what it is
and can no longer be.

israel i abhor you.

today on Tisha B’av
i mourn for Palestine
for Gaza.

zionism is racism.
ask america what happens
when you found an idea of a country
on the supremacy of some
over the humanity of all.

where are the indigenous
all the natives in this country
in this city
in israel

i mourn the morality of a people
of a world, of a country here
and a country there. i mourn
the lives withering in prisons
built for Black and Brown people
in american and i mourn the lives
lost in the open air prisons in Gaza

the same war is being fought against
poor and working and indigenous people
around the world everyday and right now
in Palestine.

i mourn tonight

but in the morning
i will resist
with those
not on the side of might
nor on the side of white

G-d, israel, is a child
in Gaza, in Palestine
waking up
this mourning
to shake you
to the ground.

Kevin Coval
About Kevin Coval

KEVIN COVAL is the author of numerous poetry collections and chapbooks, including the American Library Association Book-of-the-Year finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica and most recently, L-vis Lives! Racemusic Poems, described as a “stunning, and very personal, piece of literary work that should be required reading in every high school in America” by Impose magazine. His book "Schtick: Jewish Assimilation and Its Discontents" was published by Haymarket Books in April 2013.

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50 Responses

  1. just
    just on August 4, 2014, 8:52 pm


    thank you, Kevin.

  2. Ellen
    Ellen on August 4, 2014, 9:16 pm

    Yes, searing and painfully truthful. It touches the core and must become a voice of this time. A poem to live on, to set the world straight.

    Israel, the golden calf. So many have been crying that for so long. But our words have been crude against Coval’s capture.

  3. American
    American on August 4, 2014, 9:49 pm

    I like that.

  4. annie
    annie on August 4, 2014, 10:35 pm

    triple wow mindblowing

  5. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia on August 4, 2014, 11:14 pm

    Israel might try to sell it to India’s RSS as an evidence of religious cultural commonality . RSS and Zionist worship the cow . Murdering cow by Muslim and Christian in India is like murdering or wiping Israel off the map by the Antisemitic crowd of West and by the millions of Muslim.
    Next selling pitch -Ban cow slaughter in India . ban Wiping Israel off .

  6. kalithea
    kalithea on August 5, 2014, 12:22 am

    israel the idol.
    israel the false G-d.
    israel the golden calf.
    and G-d is
    a child in Gaza

    Wow. We all feel this to be true.

    Powerful from beginning to end.

    I wish it could convert Jews under the spell of Zionism, but alas, they are lost and the Zionist Pharoah’s heart is evermore hardened. It’s too late; too much damage has been done. Somehow, I feel they already sealed their fate.

  7. bilal a
    bilal a on August 5, 2014, 12:39 am

    “No, you carried your pagan gods–the shrine of Molech, the star of your god Rephan [saturn] , and the images you made to worship them. So I will send you into exile ” acts 7:43 [from OT Amos 5:26 , the Israelities in the wilderness ]

    the AIPAC star is indeed closely tied to the worship of the golden calf.

    some Christians argue it is the mark of the beast, Judaism rebukes its use as a Talisman , whether on flags , or on bombs dropped on elementary schools.

  8. lonely rico
    lonely rico on August 5, 2014, 1:32 am

    Read, and re-read.
    Powerful words.
    Thank you Mr. Coval.

  9. Pixel
    Pixel on August 5, 2014, 6:12 am

    If there was any way to give this a standing ovation, I would.

    I’m speechless at your talent, your gift.

    My heart soars.

  10. Pixel
    Pixel on August 5, 2014, 6:33 am

    Kevin, this piece is so moving that I had to come back and thank you for second time.

  11. wondering jew
    wondering jew on August 5, 2014, 7:08 am

    During the massacre of so many humans in gaza, a piece of agitprop like this might deserve a pass. but no. i recoil at too many of the phrases, the mangled history, the spitting and cursing. I will get back to you later and talk human to human on tisha b’av.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew on August 5, 2014, 7:22 am

      Israeli elected leaders wish to put Hamas in its place, to put the genie back in the bottle. I don’t know if that’s possible or what would fill the vacuum left by the undergrounding of Hamas. And if the ends is dubious, the means, so much moreso. Hating Israel today (and yesterday and tomorrow) makes sense if you love the murdered child in Gaza. I dig it.

      But dude, it won’t disappear just because you wave the flag of tisha b’av and the golden calf. there’s an entire population in Israel of middle eastern Jews who are happy living in the middle east, whom you wish to exile to Paris or New York or Los Angeles. Of course you’ll tell me that they will be welcome in Palestine, but frankly I don’t believe you and wonder if you believe yourself. Some here are honest enough to say that when Palestine comes the Zionists will have to leave. And for the moment I will accept the exile of the Ashkenazi Jews from Palestine, but you also want to exile the Middle Eastern Jews. (No, you don’t want to, but that will be the net effect.)

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra on August 5, 2014, 11:08 am

        Re.: jonah fredman,
        …put Hamas in its place…..
        Thesis vs Antithese.
        Israel vs Palestine,
        Hamas vs Israel.
        Those right winged zio nazi Governments since 48 voted into Office long before Hamas & have been crippling the Falesteeni thus.
        Those Hamas politicians have been voted into Office democratically too.
        The red Bull hates the blue Bull, but both Bulls are doing for theirs what they can. There is no moral ground here. Hamas is not the Casaulity, conquest is!
        Your cancelling of Hamas is a pre-condition for peace, Zionistan doesn’t listen to pre-conditions!
        PS My friend, the ancient Judaic Clergy also spread their hate of the Philistines & other Semite Tribes as their enemies. One will always have enemies, if one goes on thinking tribally. Judaism had 613 Mizvot primitive laws then against other tribes, today nations !
        Be good, Babe.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 5, 2014, 9:17 pm

        “i recoil at too many of the phrases, the mangled history, the spitting and cursing.

        Yonah, Gai shlog dein kup en vant! Okay? I mean, if you want to stand there and loose one fortz n’ zovver after another, and then smile, no one can stop you, but it’s a very disconcerting and frankly unedifying spectacle.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 5, 2014, 9:21 pm

        “Some here are honest enough to say that when Palestine comes the Zionists will have to leave.”

        So there you go, Yonah. I’d advise you start packing, even tho I know you hate to leave your little girl’s behind.

        You will be exiled to Los Angeles! Don’t worry Yonah, you’ll be in like Fleiss, er, I mean Flynn!

      • eljay
        eljay on August 5, 2014, 9:37 pm

        >>y.f.: … Some here are honest enough to say that when Palestine comes the Zionists will have to leave.

        When they realize that – horror of horrors! – they’ll have to live as equals with non-Jews, Zio-supremacist Jews may decide on their own to leave.

        But if they are willing to live as equals with non-Jews, there is no reason – and there should be no reason – they should have to leave.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 6, 2014, 11:48 am

        “But if they are willing to live as equals with non-Jews, there is no reason – and there should be no reason – they should have to leave.”

        I do not think there can be a general amnesty for Israelis. First of all, those whom there is reason to indict should be prosecuted. Sure, many will get away with a lot of stuff, but perhaps the most dangerous Israelis can be incarcerated or removed from the area (you want them in your town? Maybe give ’em a piece of land for a settlement?) before they get a chance to ruin any chances for peace and just resolution and reparations. The IDF must be disbanded, and its officers, in many cases, prosecuted.
        But don’t worry, Zionists, I’ll be putting money in the Blue Box for the “Palestinian Reparations Fund”! Every little bit will help!
        And then after that, after they have been at least partly purged of irredeemable Zionists, those Israelis who wish to live as citizens of the country can do so, if there are any left.

      • eljay
        eljay on August 6, 2014, 6:16 pm

        >> Mooser: I do not think there can be a general amnesty for Israelis.

        Neither do I. But Zio-supremacist Israelis don’t need to be expelled from Palestine in order to be held accountable for their past and on-going (war) crimes. Just lock ’em up in one of the many “moral beacon” prisons currently being used to house Palestinians.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on August 6, 2014, 5:35 pm

        eljay- Just because there is no reason and there should be no reason (in your mind and in what i agree and call “reason”), doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t happen. and i’m saying that unreason would rule and it would happen. we will see how history unrolls, but the Arab middle east is being pulled and pushed in various directions and tumult is the general impression rather than stability and how can one assert that ‘reason” will prevail during times of tumult.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on August 6, 2014, 5:46 pm

        A further comment on this poem appears below.

  12. wes
    wes on August 5, 2014, 7:17 am

    Holy shirt,could be the new bob,the holy one,make a great song for a rastaman in zion……whats a chapbook ?

  13. jenin
    jenin on August 5, 2014, 7:41 am

    Stunningly beautiful. Thank you

  14. Raksha
    Raksha on August 5, 2014, 8:12 am

    Thank you for saying so clearly what I’ve always believed, but haven’t often articulated in a Jewish context because I’d inevitably get shouted down by the hasbarats. This part especially resonated with me.

    we are a Diaspora people
    meant to wander, to make
    all the world a home
    for us and for all
    to call everywhere
    not one plot of land
    it’s a metaphor!
    you literalists!
    you racists!
    you european / american genocidal mimics!
    you maniacs!

    our gift has been making every/where funky

    not one land but all land
    not one people but all people
    we were chosen to wander
    Zion is ahead, is a future
    we work toward, the messiah
    not a person, but a time

  15. adele
    adele on August 5, 2014, 10:44 am

    bravo for conveying so forcefully and beautifully, so soulfully and rhythmically, in so few words that which we can’t say with 10,000 words. I join the others in applause!

    and G-d is
    a child in Gaza


  16. Kathleen
    Kathleen on August 5, 2014, 11:21 am

    I often think about this image representing idolatry…losing one’s way. Honoring money etc as a god. Wall Street keeps that image alive and honored. Money as a god

  17. just
    just on August 5, 2014, 11:27 am


    wolf and friends cannot let go of accusing Hamdan of “blood libel”……

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer on August 5, 2014, 11:35 am

      Yeah… Then there’s the hamas manual (courtesy of camera or memri), a rocket launch next to a reporters hotel (memri and clearly heavily edited as to sequence).

      I took him to be saying that he was repeating what others used to say and that the Israelis had edited the video of him. I’m not even sure of that though. He’s a bit hard to follow. I didn’t see wolf live and it appeared edited as well with pieces missing. And they are going to follow that story closely with much more from wolf on it later.

      It could be true or it could be hasbara is working overtime.

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 6, 2014, 11:52 am

      “wolf and friends cannot let go of accusing Hamdan of “blood libel”……”

      Yup, next they’ll be saying that Hamas sells lousy weed.

      • just
        just on August 6, 2014, 12:23 pm


  18. jimby
    jimby on August 5, 2014, 11:55 am

    Great meaty gnashing of teeth poetry. Thank you Kevin Coval. You are in great company. I had to re-read Yeat’s “Second Coming”.

    The Second Coming
    By William Butler Yeats

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

  19. Isha
    Isha on August 5, 2014, 1:23 pm

    I had to register to leave a comment here. Thank you Kevin! This is beautiful, so moving.

  20. Boomer
    Boomer on August 5, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Thank you. Indeed, a metaphorical understanding might have been a better guide and goal, despite the superficial appeal of literalism. Your poetry is powerful, and says much in a few words. A longer exploration in prose is provided by Richard Lichtman:

  21. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on August 5, 2014, 5:39 pm

    RE: “israel is the golden calf”

    CONTRAPUNTALLY SPEAKING: “Assault on Gaza—Rafah, a Case Study; Israeli’s Adeptness at Genocide”, by Norman Pollack,, 8/05/14

    [EXCERPTS] The Jewish State uses religion as a subterfuge to hide political-military aggrandizement. Nothing quite like this psychotic exhibition of statecraft—and utter desecration of religion per se. To all critics, Israel and its propaganda organs abroad, notably, AIPAC, rush in to charge “self-hating” Jew to silence dissent among Jewish people, while non-Jews are merely and quickly labeled anti-Semites. How long can this racket continue? How long the BLASPHEMING of Judaism, yes, nothing short, because insulting G-d through acts of murder, cruelty, vengeance, and therefore the profanation of a religion devoted to His service and therefore treating what is sacred with contempt? How long ethnic cleansing, population displacement, promiscuous killing of the innocent, hauteur and sangfroid in the act of bombing hospitals, refugee-packed UN schools now shelters to escape the constant bombing and ground-forces’ actions in residential neighborhoods? Not a tear (except of the crocodile variety, rote, sanctimonious in the face of gut-wrenching human suffering), never an admission of wrong-doing, always an insinuation, the slyness of the authoritarian mind, that the other party is culpable. . .

    . . . Netanyahu, the night before [Aug. 2], announced on Israeli television an ostensible pullback of troops in certain areas; in an understated version of the no-compromise position, he declared, “We promised to return the quiet to Israel’s citizens, and we will continue to act until that aim is achieved. We will take as much time as necessary, and will EXERT AS MUCH FORCE AS NEEDED.” (my caps.) There will be no negotiated settlement. The damage will be done, Israel maintaining its right to flex its muscle power at will, as in the now-current phrase, “cutting the grass,” to signify periodic offensive operations in the Territories to keep Palestinians underfoot and locked into permanent subjugation. Meanwhile, children die, whether by bombs, inadequate nourishment, or loneliness, their parents taken from them in a world that doesn’t care.

    My New York Times Comment to Steven Erlanger and Jodi Rudoren’s article, “Gaza Operation to Last as Long as Needed,” (Aug. 2), which began the recent round of reports on Gaza, follows—except that it will no longer be found in the Comments section, having been deleted presumably because a reader found it objectionable (I entered a complaint to the Public Editor):

    “[We] will exert as much force as needed.” This, despite leaving Gaza already a wasteland of rubble, having also attacked hospitals, power plants, UN shelter/schools, mosques–scenes reminiscent of World War 2 and possibly worse. Yet world Jewry applauds the war crimes of Israel, unable to see how much Israeli war lust defames, sullies, makes a mockery of Judaism itself, which over the last 150 years has been in the vanguard of human rights.

    The real “self-hating” Jew is the Israeli, who blindly and bluntly tears apart the sublime ethics of Jewish philosophy. Israel hides behind Judaism to commit war crimes. It doesn’t get uglier than that. The Gaza invasion is GENOCIDE.


    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 5, 2014, 9:26 pm

      Judaism is Zionism’s human shield.

      • eljay
        eljay on August 5, 2014, 9:37 pm

        >> Mooser: Judaism is Zionism’s human shield.

        Well put.

      • just
        just on August 5, 2014, 11:07 pm


        I promise that I am stealing that. Fair warning. It would make a wonderful sign.

        It’s going into the Mooser archives along with all of the other goodies, like the gold mine.

        (with your permission)

      • seanmcbride
        seanmcbride on August 6, 2014, 9:37 am


        Judaism is Zionism’s human shield.

        1. Do Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism bear responsibility for the policies of the Israeli government over the last half century?

        2. In what sense have Jewish religious Zionists, like many Jewish neoconservatives and the leaders of the Jewish religious establishment, been “coerced”?

        3. How do the core values of contemporary Zionism differ from the core values of contemporary Judaism?

        Regarding this Norman Pollack quote from Counterpunch:

        The Jewish State uses religion as a subterfuge to hide political-military aggrandizement. Nothing quite like this psychotic exhibition of statecraft—and utter desecration of religion per se.

        Why has the Jewish religious establishment permitted itself to be used in this way if, in fact, this is what is going on? Doesn’t it possess the freedom to resist and oppose Israeli policies?

      • AbigailOK
        AbigailOK on August 6, 2014, 6:31 pm

        @SeanMcBride Judaism it says. Not Jews. Too many Jewish leaders have kept silent for opportunistic reasons or worse. And many if not most have little knowledge of Judaism, believe it or not. Quite assimilated while dancing around the golden calf, of course. Which goes also for any Jewish religious establishment although I wonder which one because the orthodox do not think alike among themselves and loathe often all the other denominations, and vice versa. So which religious establishment? There is a human rights organization in Israel called Rabbis for Human Rights who now merely fight with the Palestinians (also for them in court) but also for others either on the streets or in court. In the USA the branch which went on as independent from them but used to be a part of them is called Tru’ah,
        1. Lots has to do – and I am by no means defending any but so many people have been self-appointed leaders over how many years so who are we judging: All? – with not speaking ill of Jews in public (Jewish law), not criticizing when they should have because they felt that that would harm this state. (How is anyone’s guess. But a false kind of protection which apparently is not due to people with a different take on things. They are apparently allowed to be threatened, called names, having their computers hacked, etc. all in the name of being the greatest democracy etc.)
        2. Power. Jewish leaders in the US and elsewhere but mostly in the US are/have been in positions of influence or wished or imagined they had both in Washington and in Tel Aviv. Vanity. As lots of non-Jewish leaders have in recent times. Politicians being fig leaves for war and oil and geo-engineering industries for example.
        3. Maybe also due to the enormous propaganda machine which has the official zionist narrative as the only “true” history in the world when almost all has come out of the PR departments of in my humble opinion at least two western intelligence agencies. The whole ME was transformed after WWI and Israel maybe came in handy for at least the US against the so-called Communist will to reign. The decrepit jeshuv, soon to be state of Israel, did not have the money nor capacity to do so. How come the fighters of those terror organizations were so well trained, where did all the war equipment come from? And who came up with influencing not only the Jews generation after generation but the whole world? A few arrogant warriors? No. One of the main roles of intelligence organizations is influencing world public opinion. And anything goes then. Watch this for the real story of what happened before and as the state of israel came into being (mind boggling and must see):
        4. Every Jew(ess) who went to Jewish youth groups was unwittingly brainwashed with the same ziosh*t. Whether one went to a socialist group (Hashomer Hatzair) or religious zionist (Bne Akiva) or others. Always, astonishingly, this state was central. (That it took so many years to open my eyes….). Of course, many of those so-called leaders have been believing and are still in the same hasbara/propaganda i.e. lies. Don’t forget: Israel is massively important for the US and not only the US as a war industry but also as a client of that war, oil and gas industry a.o. Maybe, for reasons of ignorance or wanting to keep their positions, those so-called leaders were silent. That they are still silent is fully their responsibility in the age of Israeli human rights organizations, the Internet, and what have you.
        It makes them complicit in enabling or not speaking out and voicing dissent in the face of unspeakable cruelty and wanton murder, pogroms against African refugees inside this state of Israel, as lines like”mowing the lawn.” As repeated demos inside Israel where often youths shout slogans like “Death to Arabs” and where Palestinians lose their homes also inside that state which goes unnoticed.

        Any idea why the mainstream media is totally silent about all those things before only singling out the Jewish pseudo-leaders? Although imho their guilt stands.
        5. Given the continuous persecution of the Jews over the past twenty centuries (and more) alone, lots of Jews are subconsciously or not so subconsciously very sensitive to the us vs. them rhetoric. And casting the state of Israel as the eternal victim (“surrounded by a sea of hatred”, “they (i.e. the Arab countries and thus the Palestinians, nebbich) want to drive us into the sea”, etc.) Given the recent genocide during WW II whose wounds are inside us still since also many people still have no to little or a decimated family as a result of that, many Jews are open to deception. A thing that the hasbarats are very good in exploiting and very evil therefore since the holocaust is being used to justify the evenly monstrous policy of ethnic cleansing or wholesale massacring of people for racist and anti-Jewish reasons by the state of Israel. With anti-Jewish is meant here against Jewish law or halachah.

        But you equate Judaism with some of the Jews or with (ahem…non-elected) Jewish leaders. As if Roman Catholicism is to be equated with Vatican policies and its executors. That is of course a false equation. And Judaism does not know a religious establishment anymore after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. The pseudo-rabbis of the state-funded corrupt gang is not any establishment at all in any case, state funded (and owned thus) or not. They merely function as the settlers i.e. part of the agenda of the Apartheid state of Israel. Corrupt and racist.

      • Mooser
        Mooser on August 6, 2014, 11:55 am

        “(with your permission)”

        Heck no! There’s an Olde Yiddishesque proverb: “Stolen meat always tastes better.”
        And you know me, “just”, I probably stole it myself in the first place.

  22. bamdadi
    bamdadi on August 5, 2014, 7:22 pm

    Thank you for posting this poem. A friend of mine and I made an attempt to translate it into Persian. For those of you who can read Persian (Farsi) it can be found here:

    • Mooser
      Mooser on August 6, 2014, 11:58 am

      “Thank you for posting this poem. A friend of mine and I made an attempt to translate it into Persian.”

      That is wonderful. Just reading that one sentence made up for so much that I read here. Thank you. No, I can’t read Farsi, but I know there are many commenters who can.
      I’ll say it again (I always do); that translation was a wonderful thing to do!

    • just
      just on August 6, 2014, 12:29 pm

      Tashakur, merci, tak, thank you, grazie, gracias………….

  23. mijj
    mijj on August 6, 2014, 2:41 am

    ! warning ! .. tangental comment ..

    this thing about the “wandering Jew”.

    It creates an image of forlorn, tormented, piteous people aimlessly wandering about (while wailing, sobbing and rending garments). And this is a deliberately constructed and projected self-image!

    What a rubbish self-image to create. .. the image projected could just as well have been the more fitting and sharp “exploring Jew”. Maybe it’s time for a refit.

  24. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb on August 6, 2014, 5:03 am

    Strongly tarnished…

  25. wondering jew
    wondering jew on August 6, 2014, 5:45 pm

    “The biggest atrocity that has befallen jewish people today and in the last 100 plus years is the acceptance of these false reports and the worship of the state of Israel.”

    Offensive. The killing of the millions in Europe from 1941 to 1945 is clearly the biggest atrocity.

    Herzl’s Zionism was not born out of an idea in his own head as the poet asserts or implies. A whole segment of history has been deleted to fit the poet’s priorities.

    it was not posh snobbery that created Zionism, it was a clear eyed view of the situation of European nationalism and the danger it posed. The history of the indigenous is ignored by too many Zionists. To duplicate the feat by ignoring the reality of the fragility and danger facing Eastern European and central European Jews is to add ignorance unto ignorance. maybe good propaganda, but lousy history and a lousy study of the evolution of the mess.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew on August 6, 2014, 5:48 pm

      we are a diaspora people meant to wander to make the world a home for us and for all. Wow! What a beautiful picture of the diaspora. What a false picture of the diaspora. maybe the mournful view of jewish history that ignores the good times is false, but to paint the diaspora as wonderful. god, what arrogance, propaganda and stupidity.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew on August 6, 2014, 6:06 pm

        you literalist! you racist!

        the poet reduces anyone who disagrees with him to a racist. in reaction to the many hundreds killed in gaza he calls all supporters of israel racists. (I don’t “accept” but I won’t argue.) but the net effect of the juxtaposition of literalist and racist is to say, if you are a literalist, you are perforce a racist. if you pray three times a day, like devout jews pray and say the words regarding jerusalem and the ingathering of the exiles. if you pray after every meal and talk of the rebuilding of jerusalem and your interpretation is not identical to the metaphorical interpretation given by Kevin Coval, you are a literalist and most probably a racist. Well, I’ll bet Mister Coval is not in the habit of praying three times a day and not in the habit of grace after a meal, three times a day and therefore the Jerusalem of his metaphors is something three or four times a year that he has to force his metaphor upon the Jerusalem theme and three or four times a year is weak enough that they can fit any metaphor, but three or six times a day has a different heft to it and you cannot as easily bend the words about Jerusalem from the daily prayer of devout Jews and twist it into Mister Coval’s metaphor. I don’t care which came first Mister Coval’s ideals or his reinterpretation of Jewish liturgy. Doesn’t matter. If his interpretation helps him to get closer to the truth and to his creator, all the power to him. But anyone who disagrees with him is a racist and a literalist?! Then he has gone from seeking for god, to speaking for God, reprehensible in all kinds of people, including Mister Coval.

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