Love’s Voice: 72 Kab­bal­is­tic Haiku

  • Review
By – December 29, 2011

The Kabbalah’s mys­ti­cal inter­pre­ta­tions of the Bible aim to explain a rela­tion­ship between the eter­nal and mys­te­ri­ous Cre­ator and the tem­po­ral uni­verse cre­at­ed by this Source of all Cre­ation. Haiku, on the oth­er hand, is a tra­di­tion­al poet­ic form often used to express aspects of the nat­ur­al world. Richard Zim­ler has com­bined these two med­i­ta­tive ele­ments to form sev­en­ty-two thought­ful and beau­ti­ful vers­es about cre­ation, life, and the divine. At times Love’s Voice resem­bles a book of Zen Bud­dhist thoughts, like the enig­mat­ic koans also of tra­di­tion, or the Sufi pon­der­ings of Rumi. Con­sid­er this gem: Whis­per­ing tzad­dik (right­eous one): / Be poet­ry, and let your / self be sung by God.” or this more tem­po­ral med­i­ta­tive piece, The hands that God needs / to effect change in our world / are hold­ing this book!” In anoth­er verse Zim­ler mus­es, Each of us a land / sur­round­ed by end­less seas, / but bridged by Torah.” These selec­tions one may quick­ly peruse, slow­ly pon­der, or just be with on a dai­ly basis. How­ev­er one responds to these beau­ti­ful vers­es, they are a gift and a delight.

Deb­o­rah Schoen­e­man, is a for­mer Eng­lish teacher/​Writing Across the Cur­ricu­lum Cen­ter Coor­di­na­tor at North Shore Hebrew Acad­e­my High School and coed­i­tor of Mod­ern Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture: A Library of Lit­er­ary Crit­i­cism, Vol. VI, pub­lished in 1997.

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