Michael S. Diamond
Torah Obscura

When You Turn Up the Lights: week-old Torah freshened up

Photo personal collection of author

And the Ineffable said, “When you raise the lights,” 

Speak to Aaron, “against the front of the candelabrum,” 

And say to him, “seven lights will shine.”

And the Ineffable said, “Take the Levites,”

To Moses, “sprinkle them with cleansing water.”

“And Aaron shall swing up the Levites”

He said, “in front of the Ineffable,” whee!

“That they not be plagued when they access the Holy.”

They, the people Israel, the holy wandering circuit.

The Levites shall keep the charge.

A man blackens his hands with a short circuit,

Yet he must have access to the fundamental electric.

The Lord of second chances says, “Yea.”

All who dwell with us receive the Pascal charge,

The stranger and the citizen alike.

The Great Transformer’s mighty aura,

Fiery by night and hazy by day, drags the tribes

With It, on Its mercurial desert chase.

Two silver trumpets transform the will of electrum

Into sound, the charge-bearers’ feet to follow,

To make war or to celebrate the new moon,

Every legion to its post, its charge to carry forth.

And Hobab the Midianite bids Moses his desert farewell,

His capacitor, the layers of men, has run its course. 

׆ And so it was, when they motored the wilderness,

Moses cried, “Crank up, Ineffable! Blow out resistance!”

As we too our Torah tour, charging our assembly.

And the body at rest, “Return, ten thousand thousand things.” ׆

But the flesh vessels buck at their charge,

Excess voltage arcs from the nostrils of the Ineffable,

Crackles away the skin of the housing.

But the flesh vessels want for flesh, weary of ether.

An etheric bureaucracy, seventy flames

Unbound by limitations of the flesh.

And flesh oversates with flesh, flesh poisoning,

Overload, the fried capacitors smolder, entomb desire.

And Miriam, poor Miriam, her only fault a sharp tongue,

Exfoliation and quarantine, also skinned by the Ineffable. 


About the Author
Michael Diamond is a writer based in the Washington, DC area. He practices psychiatry there and is a doctor of medical qigong. He has published verse, fiction and translation in Andrei Codrescu’s journal, The Exquisite Corpse; in the journal Shirim courtesy of Dryad Press; in the online journal for Akashic Press; in New Mexico Review, The Deronda Review, The Atherton Review, The Blood Project, Ars Medica and in The Journal of the American Medical Association. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, an artist and illuminator of Hebrew manuscripts, their dog, two cats, a cockatiel named Peaches, a tank of hyperactive fish and ten-thousand honeybees. He has had a strong interest in Torah since first exposed to traditional stories as a child. Over the course of his life he has run the gamut of spiritual exploration of many world traditions of meditation and mythology. For the last several decades he has landed squarely in the traditional Jewish world. His writing is informed by all of this experience, by his curiosity about today's world and by his desire to mine the Jewish experience for its hidden and revealed wisdom. Torah Obscura, a glimpse of an otherwise invisible world afforded by a small aperture for light. All materials herein copyright © 2018 Michael S. Diamond. All rights reserved.
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