Parshat Kedoshim: Holygraphic

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01 May 2008
Arts & Media

Mediocre instruments tend to play mediocre songs.

Bland words tend to tell bland stories.

And mundane people tend to perform mundane acts.


(It seems like:)

We are mundane actors playing on a mundane stage –

And though the script may be a work in progress,

Progressively digressing, depressingly repressing,

Our roles are invariably closer to earth than heaven,

More cosmetic than aesthetic –

Minimally inspiring; maximally re: tiring.


The only difference between the mundane and the profane

May be that the latter is pro something.


Okay, perhaps the mundane is not as sacrilegious as the profane

But, really, were we born to live mundane lives, to worship

Mediocrity, to be just another dot-commoner in the world wide

Commonwealth, living in a house of the commons?


As anti-establishment as it may sound –

I think – and hope – not.


Holy shall you be

For holy am I


Holy script and description;

Holy verse and versatility.


To be holy – to be removed,

To be beyond, uninfluenced

By the pet peeves or pettiness

Of the mundane universe; to be

Separated from all things separating;

To be independent of all things de

Pendent on pendants and pendulums,

Transcending all those things wavering

And twisting in the wind like confused

Dreams come upon a fork in the road and a

Knife in the heart.


But how to be holy in an unholy world?


We cannot earn it with our talents nor can

We find it in our wallets; not with long white

Beards or gilded walking sticks, multi-colored

Prayer shawls or multi-faceted worship robes

Do we become holy. Oh no –

Things superficial could never contain, retain things super.


For holy am I


We are holy because

He is holy, and He made us holy.

Sometimes we forget it but that

Only means that when we remember

It we will appreciate it more.


A new movement: Removement.


Let us remove ourselves from everything mediocre, mundane

Let us remove everything mediocre, mundane from the world

So that everything unique, pure, holy can shine forth.

A removement.


There is only one Holy of Holies

But many holies, people wholly holy,

Completely beyond the foolish, totally

Deeper than the deepest cracks and holes,

(Black holes, bullet holes, watering holes)




Not the condescending

“Holier than thou” insecurity,

But the “thou art holy”

Simply because we come from

And are connected to a holy place


Thou art holy so holy be:

Thou art holy –

Not because thou art better

But because thou art

Drawn with holy paint

And by a holy painter –

The Holy One

Blessed Be.


So holy be,

Blessed be.


Not a suggestion (or a threat) –

A promise.

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.