Enter the wilderness, the midbar,




Diane Elliot



for Shavuot, 5767

malkhut sh’b’yesod






Enter the wilderness, the midbar,

A space without consonants and vowels
A place of unfettered mind.


There all ideas that hold us enslaved


blurred by thirst,

humbled by hunger.


Be the wilderness—

the wild ass

the bushes that burn

the goats picking their way down rocky hillsides

the blasts of wind

the air shimmering with heat and dust.


Emptied by emptiness,

left speechless by the silence

that is unbounded sound,


you see


claps of thunder,

reverberating among

ragged mountains.


You hear

smoke and stars,

smell jagged flashes of light,

taste wind,

touch terror.


You become

at last

a tablet,

ready to be etched

by the invisible finger,


a stone smoothed for a purpose

you can never fully name,

prepared to carry for lifetimes

traces of a Truth

at once revealed

and betrayed

by words.








Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal Winter 2010 Volume 7 Number 2

ISSN 1209-9392

© 2010 Women in Judaism, Inc.


All material in the journal is subject to copyright; copyright is held by the journal except where otherwise indicated. There is to be no reproduction or distribution of contents by any means without prior permission. Contents do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors.



[i] Women in Judaism First Annual Writing Competition, Third Place winner in Poetry.

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