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Poetry: A Jew Walks into a Sandwich Bar

by Ruti Eastman


You can have your ham on rye.

I’ll take a wholegrain Jewish day sandwiched between a brit in the morning and a bar mitzvah at night.

New soul snipped into the Covenant, his tearful commentary quieted with wine and mother’s milk.

Food for all.

Conversation-laden dining of women who share grandchildren and adoration of each other’s progeny.

The crunch and snap of a brief misunderstanding, easily adjusted with liberal doses of

verbs and adjectives, in season.

Hints of laughter and chatter, making amends between old friends…

Food for all.

A young rock star making the Covenant his own with polished speeches —

then covert wine with Bnei Akiva,

while moms toast their boasted successes.

Keep your ham on rye.

I need the nourishing dance on the tongue of Jewish soul food.


© Ruti Eastman, 26 Iyar 5777/22 May 2017.

Ruti EastmanRuti Eastman fell in love with Israel on her first visit, but had to wait 16 years to make aliyah in 2007. She writes about her adventures in Israel, as well as about the family history she wants to capture for her children. She has worked variously as an editor, teacher, artist, radio disc jockey, US army soldier; but her favorite job description is “raises crops of boys.” Ruti writes at Never Ruthless and atKi Yachol Nuchal! Her book of collected essays is due out in 2017.



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