A Priestly Blessing – A Poem for Parsha Nasso


“May the Lord bless you and watch over you.
May the Lord make his face shine upon you and favor you.
May the Lord raise his face to you and grant you peace.
-Numbers 6:24-26

May the Lord bless you and watch over you.

That’s all I need
the Lordthe One, the Eternal
the Nameless, or, at least,
The one with the unpronounceable name
To watch my comings and goings
To monitor my stays
To sound the appropriate alarms when
something goes astray.
Intervention is not necessary.
Just a little bit beep say Be careful.
A hell of a collision warning system.
No additional cost.
It just comes with it.

May the Lord cause his face
to shine and favor you.

I need this like I need mirrors.
To make sure my hair didn’t go rogue.
To let me know there’s chocolate or
nothing from past meals on my face.
Just a word or two from the mouth
of my closest confidants telling me
you should take care of it.
They are the light that shines on my face –
that turns my face into
something acceptable.
If I have one favor left
it comes from Them.

May the Lord lift up his face
to you and grant you peace.

It is interesting that such a high
must lift me anything
that exists so close to the bottom
I could write an encyclopedia on
the soles of shoes.
But peace must always be lifted.
It is the hardest work.
Imagine the muscles needed
to break the peace, when so much of the world
pushes him down.
I will take peace from wherever it is given.
I see it on the face of anyone who has breath.

Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets) and hosted the Cobalt Cafe’s weekly poetry reading for nearly 21 years. He is the author of 25 books of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion”, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish-themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Written Poetry while a staff member of the first Birthright Israel trip), and more recently “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express” (Poems Written in Japan – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2020) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild,” “A Poet’s Haggadah,” and “The Night Lasts All Night.” He writes the daily webcomic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He is widely published and reads his poetry wherever they allow him.

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