Tag Archives: self-doubt

Not That Jewish

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

I constantly debate my Jewishness,
or lack thereof.
Let’s look at the facts:
I don’t know any of the 613 laws,
much less obey them.
I almost never go to shul,
except on the High Holy Days.
(Do not ask me why I go then.)
My mother was not raised Jewish,
even though her mother was.
(Can Jews skip a generation?)
My sons were Bar-Mitzvahed.
(Did that make me or them more Jewish?)
I do not follow the news from Israel,
much less the news from my local synagogue.
I do not keep kosher,
nor do I light Friday night candles.
Yet, despite all of the above,
I still feel Jewish.
I am a Jew, by God, aren’t I?
Only not that much.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, Brooklyn Jews, Family history, Jewish identity, poetry

Loss of Grace

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

The perfect metaphor, you think?
The missing word in my crossword puzzle,
G-R-A-C-E,
a word I couldn’t get,
a quality I don’t have.
How many other words
have I missed in my life?
L-O-V-E?
C-O-M-P-A-S-S-I-O-N?
P-U-R-P-O-S-E?
Apparently, I don’t understand the clues,
and my penciled answers
are constantly erased in self-doubt.
Understanding the overall theme of this puzzle,
lies outside my up and down comprehension.
I would like to receive the full measure of Your grace
to finish this rather incomplete puzzle
with a bold pen stroke of assurance.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, poetry