Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

60 Bloggers for Israel’s 60th: Oyster waxes poetic

Posted by Oyster on April 12, 2008

In honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary, Rabbi Yonah of the Blogshul and Jewlicious Festival fame was inspired (in party by Craig Taubman’s 60 hours of music for Israel) to create a blog (60bloggers.com) where 60 different Jewish bloggers would contribute a post that demonstrated the things about Israel that we love. For my contribution, I chose to share with everyone a love-poem that I wrote to Israel when I was taking the highly-controversial Poetry for the People class at UC Berkeley under the late poetess June Jordan. It was my first direct confrontation with anti-Zionism from the graduate-student instructors and Jordan herself that lead me on the path to become the pro-Israel activist that I was for the better part of my college years. But I digress. With no further adieu, here it is:

Secret Admirer


Sapphire sparkling blue water polishing me

Tel Aviv

My old and new spring of buildings and ocean

Ha Negev

Wistful dry wind sanding my eyes

I love you.

Your cool green water pours me out

My eyes tear when I remember you

Eretz Israel, love me as your own son.

I know you.

You’ve met me before.

In salty-dry craters of rocky hills

Misty forests bursting with green

Sun-swallowed mazes of tents and bazaars…

I know that you have no reason to love me.

I never write

I never call

Not born beneath your Asiatic stars

Not born from dust in a land

Where holy men still kiss the ground


Years pass since last we met but

I don’t know how many more years will pass but

I don’t know what language to ask it in but

Love me.

Tomer Altman © 2000-2008

“Lo Que Debemos Que Decir”

Poetry For The People

Spring 2000

Cross-posted to 60bloggers.com.


One Response to “60 Bloggers for Israel’s 60th: Oyster waxes poetic”

  1. Barry said

    You can’t just let this hang….have you written of the anti-israel stuff from your instructor elsewhere?
    If so, a link.
    If not, please do.

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