Nisan Jaffee
Former Ornithologist

Parsha Poem for Emor 5782



The Kohanim are the sons of Aaron,
Their yichus is not something they’ve earned,
They must conduct themselves with special care,
Their behavior must be carefully learned.

The son of a Mitzri and an Israelite lass,
Shelomis bas Divri of Dan,
Didn’t have to blaspheme in the way that he did,
He didn’t have to be that kind of man.

ben Shelomis was born of a humbler line,
Yet he could have become someone great,
A Kohain descends from a Gadol Hador,
Yet he still could end up second rate.

A wise man once said that yichus is just
A string of one or more zeros,
It’s up to us to put a value in front,
Only then might we become heroes.

About the Author
Born in New York City in 1952, Nisan moved in 1967 to St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. He graduated from Colgate University, and received an MA in Biology from William and Mary. Nisan resided in Charlottesville, VA, Newtonville, MA, and Baltimore, MD before making aliyah in 2013. He has been married for 40 years, with three adult children and ten grandchildren. He lives in Efrat.
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