Parshat Ki Tavo: Coming Into Our Own

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Smoke Screen
18 Sep 2008
Arts & Media

Of comings and goings.


It is come –

The purpose is come, the time is come,

We have come:


Coming is the difference between life and death:


A being lives his entire life in a desert, a wilderness,

Thinking the routines he knows are the reality that is,

When in fact, the facades he sees, the products he

Worships are nothing but smoke and mirrors, smoke

Because they sure as ice ‘aint fire, mirrors because

They reflect whatever image we wish to see.


It will be when you come into the Land

That G-d gives you as an inheritance


This being then comes into a Land, a consciousness, a

State of mind and heart that does not allow for the shell

To become the fruit, does not allow for the hardened

Plastic of the iPod to divert from the inner sound of the

Music, does not allow for the flesh of the body to imprison

The flame of the soul.


What is the difference between a desert and an oasis?

What is the difference between a comatose carcass and

A breathing body – they are both made of the same earth,

Both have the same limbs, both of the same material?

Ah, but they differ in that one is come, come, come to

Life, passion and purpose, while the other lies decaying

And alone.


Life is coming completely into a certain consciousness:

One can be alive without actually living, go through the

Motions, move the limbs, do the do, but remain as dead as

Radio silence.


(I’m coming, says the perverbial summa cum loudest;

But saying and doing are two different things.)


Life, to come one must come completely – and that only

Happens when one comes to possess, to settle, to dwell…


And you possess it and settle it


If one just comes to be where it’s at, but runs from

Any challenge is that really coming?


If one comes to a realization but stays away from

Being real is that truly coming?


One can come, alone, without neighbors and friends,

Come to a certain clarity while the rest are still vague,

But is that really coming into a Land, is that entering

A state of peace and harmony?


You can come to the Land, its borders and limitations;

Or you can come into the Land, into its possibilities and



Coming into our own is coming with a

Knowledge that if I come but you remain

Behind, if I have settled my issues but yours

Are still unsettling, if I have possessed my

Part but you are still dispossessed…

Then I haven’t truly come –


It will be when you come into the Land

Come not as a guest but as an inhabitant

Come not gingerly as a man to a foreign house

But come proudly as a man to a familiar home


Come not into somebody else’s ideas or thoughts

But come into your own, your own self, your own

Home –

Your own Land

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.