Parshat Bechukotai: Path Illogical

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Fork in the Road
22 May 2008
Arts & Media

Come upon a fork in the road:


To the right:

A path running through angelic paradise

Birds chirping and colorful flowers without

Those absurd vowel names; thought streams and

Heart bridges run in and around each other

Like a-maze-meant sans hyphened-confusion.

Dewy waterfalls gift wrapped in soft clouds

And rain bows clear and innocent like a bride’s



To the left:

A path dense with disappointment and sick with

Cynicism; thorns protrude from prickly thoughts

And brambles stuck on calloused feelings;

Overgrown weeds wag gnarly fingers at small

Frightened children and undergrown cacti

Sniff their bulbous snots in bitter disapproval

At life in general and at truth in particular



Let us go for a walk, you and I:

Perhaps a stroll in the park;

Perhaps a stumble in the dark.

Who knows?

Only we.


(We all walk the walk

Just some with a stride

Others with a limp –

Some with a purpose

Others with a cane)


We journey along many paths:

Sometimes down logical paths;

Sometimes up emotional paths.

Sometimes we travel in (and with) packs – socio paths.

Sometimes we travel alone in our own minds – psycho paths.


Come upon a fork in the road – which way to go?


If you walk in My statutes

And observe My commandments

And perform them


There are many logical paths,

Paths that depend on our hearts

And how our cerebral roads twist

And turn. High roads and low roads,

Beaten and unbeaten, one track, two track,

Or abstract paths. But the question is:

Does the path make us or do we make the path?


Path Illogical – walk not because it’s sensible;

Walk because it’s love and love is senseless.


My statutes… My commandments –

Torah and Mitzvahs:


We don’t study to pass a test or graduate;

We study because it is who and what we are.


We don’t do what is right (only) when it makes sense;

Things make sense (only) when we do what is right.


If you walk in My statutes

Says the Talmud: not “if”

But “please, I beg of you”


I beg of you walk on My path

So that I may walk with you.

And I will walk among you

And I will be G-d unto you


We arrive at our destination

When we journey with our destiny.


The end of the journey rooted

In the beginning of the path:


In the beginning:


He called to Moshe…

When you wish to come close…


(We must wish, pray to come close

And then:)


These are the commandments

That G-d commanded Moshe

To the Children of Israel on

Mount Sinai


(Then we shall come to the Mountain and

Walk in the way of the commandments,

Coming closer with every step)


Let us talk the talk and walk

The walk

Hand in hand with the Divine


Be strong! Be strong! And may we be strengthened!


Chazak Chazak V’nitchazek

Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.