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The Yiddish professor whose funeral fell on the same day as the synagogue rummage sale.

Upstairs the Eulogy, Downstairs the Rummage Sale

Upstairs the Eulogy, Downstairs the Rummage Sale

Poetry of Yehoshua November

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Upstairs the Eulogy, Downstairs the Rummage Sale : Poetry of Yehoshua November

The Yiddish professor whose funeral fell on the same day as the synagogue rummage sale.
Upstairs the Eulogy - Yehoshua November
Eulogy; Obituary, Life After Death

Upstairs the Eulogy, Downstairs the Rummage Sale

The beloved Yiddish professor
passed away on the same day
as the synagogue’s rummage sale,

and because they could not bear
the coffin up the many steps
that led to the sanctuary,
they left it in the hallway downstairs,

and because I was not one of his students,
and it didn’t matter if I heard the eulogy,
they told me to stay downstairs,
to watch over the body and recite Psalms.

And I thought,
this is how it is in the life and death of a righteous man:
upstairs, in the sanctuary, they speak of you in glowing terms,
while down below your body rests beside
old kitchen appliances.

And I recited the Psalms as intently
as I could over a man I had only met once,
and because I knew where he was headed,
and you and I were to wed in a few months,
I asked that he bring with him a prayer for a good marriage.

And this is how it is in the life and death of a righteous man:
strangers pray over the sum of your days,
and strangers ask you to haul their heavy requests
where you cannot even take your body.

From G‑d’s Optimism by Yehoshua November

Yehoshua November is the author of two books of poetry, G-d’s Optimism, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and Two Worlds Exist, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Sun Magazine, and on National Public Radio. November teaches writing at Rutgers University and Touro College.
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Anonymous via chabadofbinghamton.com September 25, 2016

Reality abd irony Thank you for sharing your beautiful poetry. Looking forward to reading your next book "Two Worlds Exist." Reply

catherine October 15, 2012

sublime Your poetry is beautiful, inspiring and sensitive to God's involvement in this world. Your belief in His closeness is what bring optimism to my world. Thank you for sharing your very soul with us. I loved every word. Reply

ronnen toronto June 27, 2011

Thanks no further comment Reply

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