Gershon Hepner
Gershon Hepner

Not Sinning with the Sinew of the Thigh

The prohibition of the so-called sinew of the thigh
causes tenderloin to be the meat Jews should not buy,
The effort to remove this sinew is a nuisance
which only makes to someone who’s a kosher Jew sense.

Due to the Hebrew name of this male sinew, gid hanasheh,
it sounds just like a bacon rasher eaten by a rasha,
and  its  prohibition makes, like vaccines against flu, sense
for Jews opposed to sinning in the thigh’s sinewsence.

I wrote this fleishig poem in my humble unhigh attic,
most proud of Jews who since unsinful don’t eat the sciatic.,
and that Judaism is in  China, n Hebrew “Sin,” described
as “faith of those for whom a meaty sinew is proscribed.”

It is quite fascinating that the sinew tale appears
in Genesis, and therefore as a rule, perhaps is pre-Sinaitic.
Based on a Sinophlic wordplay, it relates forbidden rears
to an ancestral thigh an angel punningly made paralytic.

Gen. 32:32 explains why many Jews avoid eating tenderloin:
לב  וַיִּזְרַח-לוֹ הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ, כַּאֲשֶׁר עָבַר אֶת-פְּנוּאֵל; וְהוּא צֹלֵעַ, עַל-יְרֵכוֹ. 32 And the sun rose upon him as he passed over Peniel, and he limped upon his thigh.
לג  עַל-כֵּן לֹא-יֹאכְלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-גִּיד הַנָּשֶׁה, אֲשֶׁר עַל-כַּף הַיָּרֵךְ, עַד, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה:  כִּי נָגַע בְּכַף-יֶרֶךְ יַעֲקֹב, בְּגִיד הַנָּשֶׁה. 33 Therefore the children of Israel eat not the gid hanasheh, inew of the thigh, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day; because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh, even in the sinew of the thigh.
In “A billion Chinese can’t be wrong,” Sivan Rahav-Meir writes:
…How do the Chinese translate the word “Judaism?” This is how they write it in Chinese: 挑筋教. The translation reads: “Religion of the removed sinew.” Interesting, instead of calling us “the people of the book” or “the nation that left Egypt,” the Chinese define us otherwise.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at gershonhepner@gmail.com.
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