Jerusalem Sabbath – Jeni Friedman

40 minutes before sundown the siren howls. The train suspends its cross-
city route. Taxi cats slink to shady corners idling for last-minute fares to Tel
Aviv. Ready to race the descending sun to the Mediterranean. A donkey
exits the last bus, at the last stop, pulling his plaid two-wheeled shopping
cart. He trudges slowly up Jerusalem’s hills, pausing to wipe a white
handkerchief across his brow. Shuk tomatoes and cucumbers, stacked atop
a white string-tied pastry box, held by holy will, threaten to roll out into
the feathered streets. Jerusalem stone, the façade of every building on every
street, absorbs the light. Houses and towers glow. Cocks in white shirts and
hens in white skirts flow into the streets. Their tidbitting rises. Courtyards
pending with jasmine and prayers welcome the coming dark.


A native of Alberta, Canada, Jeni earned her rabbinic ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York and her PhD in Education and Jewish Studies from NYU. Jeni is an avid reader and writer of poetry and contemporary midrashim. Her work has been featured in the Jewish Women’s Literary Annual and Poetry Superhighway.

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