As a Baal tshuva (a returnee to observance) at twenty seven years old, Jewish identity, community and aspirations have been important organizing principles in my life and the life of my family while at the same time much of my experience before adopting a religious lifestyle has contributed to the poems in this book. I majored in Philosophy and Religion at Colgate University and attended Union Theological Seminary in Manhatten for one semester. Returning home to join my parents in their business, I was involved with a local Bhuddist society which included establishing meditation retreats with a former Thai monk. It was in the midst of one of those I realized my Jewish 'soul' would only be nurtured and protected by the Torah. Thank G-d
The Village of S'fat: A collection of poetryby Joseph L. Fleischman
Much of poetry is informed by music and sound. With their components of melody, harmony, rhythm, and tone, music and sound have the power to captivate the essence of beauty and to capture movement and urgency in a direct and unique way. However, there are complex reasons why a poem is undertaken as a creative endeavor - at times, more than beauty is sought and other than urgency demanded.
The poems this book contains concern primarily Jewish themes. Some are personal and autobiographical, some religious and reflective and some contemplative. As a Baal tshuva (a returnee to observance) Jewish identity, community and aspirations have been important organizing principles in my life and the life of my family. In each poem, a longing to hold the bonds that unite is aspired to and a yearning to that which distinguishes and elevates is hoped for. J.F.
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