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"Just Jewish," A Poem for Imperfect Judaism

"Just Jewish," A Poem for Imperfect Judaism

Tiny Star of David charm held up against a sunset

I know I am;
I am a Jew,
Know how good this is to be.
But how now this Jew to be good and true,
As these living trials stride through?
I know, this reflection, can never,
Reach God’s perfection,
Goodness through dust till dust.
But I try, just try, try just to be just.
Not the perfect Jew, that I am not.
Perfectly try I try to help what I see,
I can do this now to achieve.
Can I be some truth,
By doing this good,
Being a blessing with mercy and faith?
Just an image am I, walking through this life,
Approach God now with nearness each step,
So I know, I am not the just perfect Jew,
I just try to do my part of the good,
Am I right? Yes I seek right,
Being part of that hue,
Just doing my part of the range being just,
​Jewish.

Edward D. Levin, Ph.D. is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center, where he conducts research in neurotoxicology. He also writes Jewish poetry. He lives with his wife Risa Hiller in Chapel Hill, N.C. They have two grown daughters Holly and Laura, and belong to Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, N.C., where Dr. Levin has been a regular at the Torah study group for more than 25 years. Read his other Jewish writings here.

Edward D. Levin, Ph.D.

Published: 4/04/2019

Categories: Jewish Life, Practice, Spirituality, Jewish Journeys
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