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Parshat  Nitzavim

  By Chana Engel  

 While dicing potatoes, the right hand lost its grip,

And scratched the left finger, whose nail it did chip.

Well the left hand got angry that the right hand would dare,

And picked up that knife - so the pain they could share.

Now the right hand was bleeding and the left even more,

And as I'm bandaging my wounds, I wonder “what for?”


Hashem tells us this week, “You're all standing here,”

And goes on to specify, so it's all very clear -

“The heads of your tribes,” but it also refers,

To “your children, your women, your water carriers.

All those who are present, all those listed above,

It's with you that I make a covenant of love.”


Quite a detailed list, superfluous it seems,

He said all of you, and we know what all means.

Why the long specification of whom our nation comprises,

We've got all extremes - but why the reminders?


There's a powerful message Hashem wants to imbue,

The value of each and every single Jew.

Leaders could be present, dignitaries standing tall,

But if one child is missing, then we're not our “all.”


Some of us have long beards, some shaven, others trimmed,

There are baseball caps, kippot and black hats wide-rimmed.

Some wear colourful headscarves, some wigs, others hats,

There are Jews like this and Jews like that.


There are those who dress in overalls, others suit and tie,

They may go by mister, doctor or rabbi.

Some value learning, others seek an occupation,

And we need all of them, to be called “one nation”.


As a single body our nation stands,

We might be the elbows, ears or the hands.

There's the heart and the mind that hold prestigious roles,

Yet without one toenail, we wouldn't be whole.


When my left hand is stinging, my whole self feels the chills,

My legs run to the doctor, my mouth swallows the pills.

We're brothers and sisters - link hands, bridge the gap!

Because a nation divided has a handicap.


Self-love is innate – so if I'm one with you,

Then helping you out is the most natural thing to do.



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