Lee Diamond

Lee Diamond – Our flag as our symbol & Is this chicken kosher?

Lee Diamond – Our flag as our symbol & Is this chicken kosher?

That  blue and white flowing  sheet

With the Magen David in its midst

With the similarity

To the biblically commanded

Thread of “techelet” blue

It Tells a story

Of who we are.

A story of a nation

Arising, arisen,

With roots, with hope, with pride

With a sense of amazement

At our length of being

And our continuing reality

 

Who could have imagined that

It would fly again among the nations

Fly like an upward bound “hoopoe bird”

From Med, to Red, to Dead to kineret

It’s the flag I love

The symbol of the land I love

The home of the free Jew.

 

It fills me with pride and some holiness

Pride that I’m counted amongst the nations

Holy as the threads of blue defining, reminding

To be kissed with closed eyes

To remind that  I am unique

And the  need

For techelet

In my life.

 

 

The Magen David of this flag was worn on OUR armband

BUT YELLOW

It was a symbol of our disgrace

It reminded them that we were trash

They trashed us with this star

 

Yet  we transformed it

Transformed this yellow

Into a blue on a white

Background

 

We were pure again

With a thread of techelet

 

Can a flag be holy?

Is that crude nationalism?

Can a flag be misused?

Should a flag be worn

In Birkenau by a prideful youth?

 

Is this emblem to be kept holy

Aside, different, unique and for

Occasions of deep expression of

The joy of mitzvah

Or the tragedy of loss?

 

It is painful when the flag is burned

It is painful to see a tattered flag, neglected

And forgotten.

It is painful to see this symbol

Disrespected

And worn as a garment

By children at the beach

Or innocent teens expressing new found  pride

 

Or by a minister of our government

Wearing our holy symbol

As a prideful gown.

 

It is  ok to maintain the holiness

Of our Symbols

To keep that thin thread

Of Blue

 

The  thread of a heart beating true

Of a Passionate Jew

 

Is this chicken kosher?

 

Rabbi” is this chicken kosher ?

And such was the role of a rabbi?

He studied, he learned and he decided!

Matters of Halacha were in his hands.

Once one rabbi gave a ruling, one could not seek another rabbinic ruling.

 

The authority of the rabbi came from

“Semicha” also known as Yoreh Yoreh

Yudin, Yadin.

Semicha was the act of passing on rabbinic authority from generation to generation

Yoreh was the rabbi  as  teacher

Yadin reflected the rabbi as decider-judge.

 

But the authority of the rabbi cane

From his community as well.

The community chose Its rabbi

Though the rabbi was “Mara D’Atra”

(The local teacher and judge)

The rabbi was chosen by the community!

 

Good judgement was in the hands

Of the appointed Mara D’Atra

And in the hands of the community.

 

The rabbi was a leader of the

Length and breadth of Jewish tradition

Jewish history and Jewish reality

 

He walked ahead of the Jews

And was not a “heksher” gebber” —-He could not make an “unkosher” chicken kosher.

 

But as time flowed by the will of God

So too did this  flow of time

Affect the Jew

And the question of the “kosher chicken”

Was less asked

And new questions emerged

 

And the rabbi needed to continue

To be teacher – judge

To different questions of the Jews

 

Different questions needed appropriate answers from

Rabbis, steeped in the tradition

And committed to its future

In the new day which had dawned

 

But as before, rabbis needed to

lead.

Despite their job safety.

There was no way of making a “fowl” decision.

Communities could select a rabbi

Rabbis could select a community

Tradition had to flex its muscles

To be “Flexible” but muscular

 

Some Rabbis swam with the stream

Some Rabbis swam against the stream

Some rabbis maintained the tender balance

Between love of the tradition

And love of the Jews.

 

To Illustrate this balance:

 

Two rabbis were walking down the road

A woman approached them who was quite upset

She showed them a chicken and said

It’s soon Shabbat

I fear that this chicken is not kosher

And I have nothing else for my family

 

For Shabbat

The older rabbi examined the chicken, smiled and said: kosher

The woman smiled and left

 

The younger rabbi asked the older

How could you declare that  the chicken was kosher?

It obviously was not!!!!!!

And the older rabbi responded

I wasn’t examining the chicken

I was examining  the heart of this  woman.

 

The rabbi today, the Raba today

Must answer to the chicken and the

Jewish soul. There is an answer !

 

And Lead !!

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