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Stacey Zisook Robinson

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Partial view of woman's pink silky skirt with gold beading hanging from the tiers

That blush on my cheek? It's paint, And I have glittered my eyes And robed myself in the finery of silk and gossamer, lapis and gold-- And whored myself for your salvation. You asked for no thoughts. You merely offered my body to the king-- My life forfeit If my beauty failed. You asked for no ideas And I gave you none, Though I had a thousand, And ten thousand more. Diplomacy was played on the field of my body, The battle won in the curve of my hip And the satin of my skin, Fevered dreams of lust And redemption. That blush on my cheeks? It is the stain of victory And of my shame.

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Person in shadow facing the sunshine arms up in a gesture of openness and gratitude

With all that is happening in our world today, I find it difficult, at times, to be thankful. Still, I believe our Judaism calls us to both partner with God to repair what is broken, and to give thanks for the whole of our lives.

Sing Hallelujah Sing praise and shout hallelujah, as bullets sing their siren song and death is never far; and sing praise while fires rage and children fall silent

behind barbed wire fences, and children fall silent with bellies distended, and children fall silent as their homes are devoured, and they race against monsters and time. Sing praise,...

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Silhouette of a woman staring into a pink sunset

The story of Hagar and her son, Ishmael, is a heartbreaking one to me. She was the handmaid of Sarah, who have her to Abraham when she, Sarah, seemed barren. Hagar had a son, but when Sarah finally gave birth to Isaac, she grew jealous and demanded that Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away into the desert.

Though reticent, Abraham did as she asked, sending Hagar and her son away with only a water flask and some bread. When that little bit of sustenance was gone, Hagar and Ishmael cried out in their despair. God heard their cried and sent an angel to Hagar, to tell her not to fear,...

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Newly lit yahrzeit candle in a spoon rest on top of a white stove

Lit in a moment of in-betweens, neither day nor night, neither dark nor light, this flame does not dance. It casts no shadow and holds no blessing, only remembrance. It rests upon the altar of my kitchen counter, scarred from years of bounty and gentle benediction. My empty cup overflows with longing. This flame burns without heat, but there is great blessing and grace in Your name.

Figure from behind in tee-shirt and jeans, sitting on concrete wall and looking out at a body of water on which the sun is shining through clouds

Afflict my soul ~ As if this were something new, a commandment of some rarity! I picture a three-taloned scourge, held high in front of me, my hand clasped lightly, with comfort and all too familiar ease. The tips of those talons are bloodied. My soul is afflicted. It is a talent I have perfected. But I am to afflict my soul on that Day, To hunger, To thirst To bear my discomfort like a badge of unease, as if, on all those other days, I do not. As if on all the other days - new moon, full moon, sickle moons that have their own power to draw blood - on every other day I wear the day with...

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