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Unsolved Mysteries of Samson and Delilah: A Poem for Parashat Naso

Unsolved Mysteries of Samson and Delilah: A Poem for Parashat Naso

Silver scissors laying open on a black surface in the shadows

Did anyone—
perhaps a prison guard—
ever wonder aloud in Samson’s presence:
Dude, what’s wrong with you?

Did anyone point out that Delilah had made it abundantly clear
that she couldn’t be trusted?
Did anyone say,
Samson, pal, why on earth did you give her 
the power to crush you like that?

And how might the shorn prisoner have responded?
Best Sex I’ve Ever Had!
I’m a masochist.
I’m a fool.

Or maybe
all of the above.

And what about Delilah, anyway?
Did she take all that silver and run,
or did she linger in the neighborhood?
If she dropped by the prison to visit,
did she notice how quickly his hair was growing back?
And was she present the day when Samson
literally brought down that house?

Some mysteries, alas,
won’t ever be solved.
No matter how many centuries pass
while we shake our heads,
dissatisfied, and disbelieving.

Erika Dreifus, a member of Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, N.J., lives and writes in New York. She is the author of Quiet Americans: Stories, which was named an American Library Association/Sophie Brody Medal Honor Title for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Erika is currently at work on a full-length poetry collection; her poems have been published by Jewish Journal, Forward, Lilith, Moment, Tablet, and many others. Visit Erika online at and follow her on Twitter @ErikaDreifus, where she tweets on "matters bookish and/or Jewish."

Erika Dreifus

Published: 6/02/2017

Categories: Jewish Life, Arts & Culture, Learning, Torah Study
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