Chumatz

by Janet Ruth Falon (Elkins Park, PA)

Chumatz is all the things we can live without:
the puff
the fluff
the excess stuff,
the icing on the cake and, in most cases,
the cake itself,
the overboard
the elaborate
the non-essential,
the too-too
the frou-frou
the Bloomingdale’s when Sears would do
the Range Rover when a Subaru would get you there, too,
the centerpiece which, in fact,
prevents you from seeing across the table,
the lazy that takes its time rising
because it knows no one’s going anywhere

so even as we congratulate ourselves for getting along without chumatz
for eight days
like a Yom Kippur fast,
let’s thank Someone for our luck
that we have the chumatz to do without
that we can choose
to pare down for a week
trusting, knowing with certainty
that chumatz will be there to return to
that we don’t have to do without
that we have yeast, and sugar, and water, and time.

Janet Ruth Falon, the author of The Jewish Journaling Book (Jewish Lights, 2004), teaches a variety of writing classes at many places, including the University of Pennsylvania.  At the moment she is teaching journaling and creative-writing classes to people with cancer, and she’s working on a project that she hopes will be published as The Breast Cancer Journaling Workbook.

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1 Comment

Filed under American Jewry, Jewish writing

One response to “Chumatz

  1. Laurie Zinn Abel

    Janet, I really enjoyed the poem. With spring coming and renewed energy and space as the outdoors is once again delightful, I like thinking about the fluff and our choice to embrace it – or let it go.

    Happy Pesach! Love, Laurie

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