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Manna From Heaven

Manna From Heaven

Tu B'Shevat

Photo by Joy Krauthammer
Photo by Joy Krauthammer

With every breath,
with every taste,
with all my senses,
gratitude I have and give thanks
as I discover miracles
waiting for me this morning.
I laugh with glee
as I find Your babies
in Your magical garden that I tend.

Your treasures are strange:
firm, shiny, smooth, thick-shelled
Purple Passion Fruits.
Their ripened, wrinkled, rumpled rinds, deflating
from the dense leafy tendrilled vines
thirty feet wide and my height,
fallen to the ground!

I bend, praise You, lower my knees,
drop to the earth
to gather the precious, egg-shaped bounty, protecting
intensely tart tasting, succulent,
transparent, glowing golden sacs, placentas.
Each envelops a small, crunchy black seed.
Hundreds matured, concealed
and encased in a cavity.
Each attached via 'umbilical cords,'
threads, to tissue-thin white membrane
lining the womb.

With care, drops of juice should not spill,
I quickly cut open one rounded passion fruit
revealed for my pleasure.
I make the bracha [blessing].
I ingest the blessings from You, Giver of Life,
this summer season.
Manna from heaven.

My body and soul are nourished and replenished.
Delighted with all, I rejoice,
savor the delicious beauty of Divinity,
G*d's glory and goodness,
exquisite fragrant fruit of Your healthy vines and trees.

Clustered all the way from Gan Eden
beneath giant green leaves,
Figs, when plucked,
exude irritating white sap.
Tender, large, luscious, plump, purple, fresh figs,
symbol of Torah
birthed to enjoy through and through.
In bliss, I lift each sweet sensuous one
up to You.

Figs on the tree, I bequeath
for G‑d's other creatures,
as Boaz did for Ruth, the Moabitess,
to glean and feast in joy.
We taste the mysterious, mystical treasure,
delicate, dry skin and moist flesh,
ripe, bursting forth magenta insides,
awesome to behold, satisfied
I release from the fruit
Holy sparks of life.
I can feel them twinkle
in my mouth and travel within me.

The blesSings of Your Passion and Fig,
I share today with a kallah and chatan [bride and groom]
under their chuppah [wedding canopy].

I love You, Creator of Life. Thank You. Thank You for your gifts.

Joy Krauthammer, a spiritual Jewish woman serving G-d in Joy, is a visual and performing artist living in Northridge, CA.
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Rabbi Debra Orenstein Los Angeles February 21, 2008

Joy's Poem I will never eat a passion fruit or fig the same way again. Thank you for this beautiful expression of gratitude. Reply

Melvin Pasternak Calgary, Alberta, Canada January 25, 2008

Manna From Heaven This poem makes wonderful use of language. "Your treasures are strange." "Ripened, wrinkled, rumpled rinds" beautiful alliteration and rhyme. The passion fruit photo is also beautiful and add to my enjoyment of the poem. This work is a beautiful psalm song of Praise. Reply

Cindy Epstein Northridge, CA January 24, 2008

Moving Testimony Wow! What an alliterative explosion!! You certainly have a way with words to bring an intense feeling from the reader. I'm sure Marcel is smiling down on you filled with pride as we all are with you. I too have tasted your terrific figs and now they will always hold more joy for me whenever I eat them again.

Vanessa Paloma Tangier Medina, Morocco January 23, 2008

Tu Bishvat Mazal tov. Poem is beautiful. I am sure you will inspire many people with the deep energy for life that you have! Blessings, and I was remembering our afternoon under the tree, and carob balls (and fig branches that you brought) last year. In Tangier we celebrated the ceremony for Tu Bishvat reading Pri Etz Hadar, full of teachings from the Torah, Mishna and Zohar... (Enjoy my full story, photos and video on my website.)


Chanie Backman January 23, 2008

So beautiful - Thank you, Joy, for sharing this. It is so rich with meaning. Keep sharing!
lots of love, Reply

Joy Krauthammer, Gila Rena Tzohara bat Leba Northridge, CA, USA January 22, 2008

Gratitude to YOU Thank You my Friends & Family & Rebbes,

Thank you my holy sisters and brothers for reading my poem, and sharing your loving, feeling comments from some far away places. I am deeply touched and have tears reading YOUR connection to The Creator, the Holy Land, G*d's creations and to me. I love you.

May we be blessed with an fruitful abundance of health and joy as our G*d given sap flows through out bodies, just as does the birthing sap of the aging trees flow during this time of Tu B'Shvat and all seasons.

Hearing from you at this time is especially appreciated as I was filled with tears the last week during Marcel's z'l 2nd yarhzeit, and serious hospitalizations of loved ones. But as you can read, I find and reveal the light of Holiness in my life and share this inspiration.

It feels so good to receive your validation of my fruits. These writings are because YOU have encouraged me in darkness, and in returning to the land of my soul, and I am grateful.


Rabbi Miriam Hamrell Los Angeles, Claifornia January 22, 2008

Dear Joy, You release from the fruit the Holy sparks of life. And we are the bounty who Immerse and infuse in the light and the sparks of your joy.

Perla Abrams Buenos Aires, Argentina January 22, 2008

Manna from Heaven Reading your poem, dear Joy, was like hearing and seeing your face. You are always such an inspiration of honest emotions that my heart is full of joy reading your words. Thank you, Reply

Beverly Rimer West Hills, Cal January 21, 2008

Thank you Joy, this is a blessing for us all, the trees, and us . You are a blessing. We are all from creation. Reply

Shayna Lester Santa Monica, Ca. January 21, 2008

Manna from Heaven Dear Joy
I feel your joy and delight as I read your incredible poem. You are a beautiful poet and I offer you congratulations on having this beauty published. Sending you blessings of love... Reply

Jeanette Shelburne West Hills, California January 21, 2008

Manna from Heaven Dear Joy,
What a beautiful, spiritual and luscious poem praising the fruits of the earth. It also invoked that passioniate sense of roots in the Land of Israel--I felt I was standing there, back there in ancient times and now. Reply

Charles Sherman Van Nuys, CA January 21, 2008

Joyful Poem The poem has depth beauty and most important, expresses joy. Reply

Dinah Berland Los Angeles, CA January 21, 2008

Rejoicing I delight and rejoice with you, Joy, on the publication of your sensuous, hearfelt poem—so perfect for Tu'Bishvat!
Love and Blessings, Reply

ronit roth osafiye, Israel January 21, 2008

juicy poem What a joy, to begin Tu'B'Shevat , reading your poem. I am fasting this morning, but my juices are fllowing abundant as I taste purple-yellow-green in my mouth on my chin flowing sweet and tangy and tasting of "more ! " and wanting to dance with you creatress around your Tree of LIfe. Bless you sister for this blissful blessing of yours. From Israel with Love.

shelly r. January 20, 2008

your poem very appetizing, I enjoyed reading it. renewed life. Reply

hesha abrams dallas, tx January 20, 2008

beauty what a lovely way to praise G-d. so visual, so descriptive, so colorful, so full of gratitude. i am grateful for you my dear dear friend.

Brett Freedman Cambridge, MA January 20, 2008

Poem Beautiful poem Joy! I truly enjoyed it and found that it brought me to many a times in the past (and in the future) being able to grab a fresh fig and passion fruit in your garden...


Richard Schwartz Staten Island, NY/USA January 20, 2008

Gret poem wonderful poem, and so much in the spirit of Tu B'Shvat and Jewish teachings about appreciating nature and G-d's bounty.Kol hakavod. Reply

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