Introduction to… Torah

A few years ago my friend Noah – an incredible songwriter and also a poet in his own right – introduced me to a Billy Collins piece, “Introduction to Poetry” (you can read it here). I always thought the ideas Mr. Collins conveyed were equally appropriate for Torah study and a very particular type of learning session many of us find ourselves leading.

With sincere respect for Mr. Collins work, here is my edited version:

“Introduction to Poetry Torah”

I ask them to take a poem the Torah
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse student into a poem the Torah
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s Torah’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to water­ski
across the sur­face of a poem the Torah
wav­ing at the Author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem Torah to a chair with rope
and tor­ture a con­fes­sion out of it.

They begin beat­ing it with a hose
to find out what it really means.