Let Me Go That I May Serve You

(a response to Merle Feld's "Let my people go that we may serve You”)

I don’t remember girdles
but I remember the anger
we’re not supposed to show.
I’ve always been counted
and I’ve also been dismissed
	too often and too easily

I’ve positioned myself so as to be impossible to be seen as 
but they can still insist I’m irrelevant -
that we women all are

The holy words, the Holy Book,
I apologize for it too often:
	that was then
	that was them
I find reasons for us to stay.
I write us back into the scroll

When Moses leads fiercely
he is lauded as humble

When I lead fiercely,
confident and competent,
I am labeled “Angry Woman Rabbi”

Even as I clear the path for others
I am repressed

But I carry the scroll passed down by the women
on whose shoulders I stand, and I pass it on
and we hold it tightly
and we dance with it
and we sing
The women, The wrestlers
The teachers and preachers

I’m not fighting to be counted
but I am still fighting 
for others to be.
I am obligated to empower
          to uplift

I build Holy Communities
sometimes tenderly
other times with less-than-quiet determination
Fully and richly myself
A Jewish woman
A Lady Rabbi

“I won’t let go until you bless me”
I won’t let go until
you recognise the blessings I offer
in return

Now, and going forward; Now,
and for tomorrow
I am heart-full of pride -
          NOT humble -
at the chain of Jewish women
I am blessed to be a part of.
Our own chain of tradition,
Regina and Sally and Sophi and Me.

And Bertha and Phina and Miriam and D’vora
and Esther and Ruth
May the world be unimaginable without 
the contributions we have brought
to these Holy Temples

May the work of our hands and our hearts 
          and our minds
Be Blessed

From Lillith to Eve to the last woman standing
(long off may she yet still be)

May we be seen
May we be valued
May we be remembered
May we be blessed.

-EKG ‘23
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