A Hanukkah Poem

Giorgione’s “Judith”


Rightful Places (A Poem for Hanukkah 5777/2016)

By Erika Dreifus

When, today, a woman’s right
to wear a prayer shawl
or read from the Torah
or blow a shofar at the Kotel
is actually the focus of a bill submitted to the Knesset,
who can be surprised
that Judith’s story
is excluded from the Tanakh?

For if Judith—
Hanukkah heroine

had been granted admission
to those holy pages,
how on earth,
all these centuries later,
could anyone possibly justify
denying her daughters
our own rightful place?

4 thoughts on “A Hanukkah Poem

  1. Laura Yaros says:

    Just want to say that I love this poem, and read it in shul from the Bimah yesterday, just before I chanted the Haftorah for the Shabbat of Chanukah (it’s the same one as for Beha’lotekha, and begins “Roni v’simchi bat tzion…”). Got great feedback from a number of women in the congregation. Thank you!

    Laura Yaros
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    member of Congregation Dorshei Emet – The Reconstructionist Synagogue of Montreal

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Laura, I cannot thank you enough for this comment. What a privilege for me.

      1. Laura Yaros says:

        Just saw your reply now. Thank you so much. Keep up your good work.

    2. Noah Dayan Mandelker says:

      Hi Laura when you did your haftrah on December 31 2016
      Me and Beth we were proud of you

      Dorshei emet is your synagogue home

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