What is it about Life
That gets people breathing
Here begins a sentence –
A life sentence:
One’s mouth or nostrils may open and
Hardly ever close, blowing air in and
Blowing air out (cold air, hot air, desp-air),
Without ever actually breathing, breathing
Life into oneself, breathing Life into one’s
Another’s mouth may remain closed,
Blowing nothing, not even a chance;
Neither does this one wait to exhale
Or inhale the toxins of a false universe;
This one is not holding the breath nor
Dropping the proverbial bomb – this
One merely breathes, breathes life, life
Into oneself, life into others, life into
So tell me who is more alive?
One whose body does everything right
But whose soul is stagnant;
Or one whose soul pulsates in life
But whose body lies dormant?
Not all with a beating heart
Are of the living
And not all who rest in peace
Are of the deceased
It takes more than blood flow
For a man to be passionate
Just as it takes less than dirt
For a man to be buried
So what, pray tell, is Life
And what does it mean to be alive?
As human beings of the bodily form
Tend to measure life in bodily terms
The person breathes, sleeps, wakes, eats, moves,
Goes through the motions and emotions –
The person’s alive!
As human beings of the soul essentiality
Also know life is more than motion or emotion
Life is passion, life is vibrancy, life is contagious –
Life is connecting to the Source of Life.
The Poetry of Life, like all poetry, at times gets subtle
(Perhaps a euphemism for vague);
Thus a Life barometer:
If one is alive, breathing with a purpose and passion,
Burning with a soul desire and kindled spirit but the
World around, the people around are as dead as an
Unplugged mike, as cold and heartless as an ice cube,
Then such a life, such a purpose, passion, is a dishonest
Façade, deader even than that unplugged microphone
You see Life, by living definition, makes everything
Around it come alive; Life, by living association, in-
Spires everything in its vicinity to breathe soul, all
In its neighborhood to
Rise up for Life
Size up for Life
Skies up and get down
This is the Life of Sarah:
Thousands of years since
She has last parted her
Lips, but every second
She breathes, breathes
Life into her children,
Imparts purpose and
Passion within each
And every one of us.
Sarah is connected to the
Source of all Life and that
Never fades, only grows:
Chayei Sarah, the Life of
Sarah, is as alive today
As it was all those years
Ago (perhaps more so, for
Living things never stop
It is as simple as life and death.
Here’s the bottom- (not end- or tag-) line:
The lines of Torah are lines of Life,
One has merely to read and study the words, the lines
Of Torah, of Life, for the living to become alive and
The alive to throb with passion and spirit
This is the life of our mother; and this is the life of we,
Her children alive and well!
Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at jakeyology.blogspot.com
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.
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