Friday, February 22, 2008

Ki Tisa -- High (In)Fidelity

This was first performed for 200 people at a Statewide Shabbat at NC Hillel, and caught the attention of a Rabbi who said it would really benefit bar mitzvah students if I did this for every portion in the Five Books, which indirectly led to the foundation of this site. Crazy. Also, I spit it at the "Twelve Tribes" Open Mic at National Poetry Slam 2007, where it went over like gangbusters. Enjoy.

All I ask is your attention as I command it,
Use spoken word and put pen to page
To outline for y'all a critical stage
In Jewish history and I won't be vague

I'll unravel the mystery locked in the Parsha
This week, Ki Tisa relates the state of Jews at Sinai
Who got confused when they looked at the sky
And could not comprehend what they could not see
So they committed an act of infidelity
And created a calf that repped visibly
A notion of God they could understand
And they did all of this
under Aaron's command

Because he conciliated while Moses terminated
Said, "I'll be back"
and 40 days deliberated in a conversation with God
who at the end said something odd:
He saw the calf, said, "You don't know the half
Of what your people are doing at the foot of the path.
They're really not fooling me with their charade.
I'm 'bout to regulate
cuz I just got played."

Moses said, "Hold up ...

It ain't the right thing to do
You love these people try not to undo
The work of the Exodus and give rise to
Undue attitudes about a God who rescued his people only to off 'em
And turned the whole desert into one sandy coffin."

So Moses bounced — to see for himself
What his people had done with their material wealth.
He got so mad he shattered the tablets
Ground up the calf and let all of them have it
Aaron got frantic and tried to lie his way out
By telling Moses the calf came about all on its own
But Moses saw through that, knew he should atone
For the sins of the people who should turn to stone
Like Lot's wife -- the REEE-MIIIX!!
And the Levites believed it
So they stepped forward toward God
And had to carry out a terrible job
See, 3,000 people lost their lives that day
Because they almost undermined the whole Jewish faith

And lessons were learned by all parties involved:
The people needed to see that all idols aren't God
And the man upstairs needed to be fair
And not expect people to believe in the air

So stop ...

... and take a look at what surrounds you at the moment
And don't just do it now, do it any time you can control it
Every person and thing, please try to own it
Because God's in all of that
now take that thought and hone it into tangible form
So you don't have to dance by a calf to keep warm.

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Valerie said...

love it!

The Brooklyn Boy said...


I do what I can, ha.