A Poem

Sheryl Burstein
July 7, 2010

This morning I sat outside
For the sole reason
Of hearing my thoughts
Loudly echo between my ears

I watched the sunrise
As the morning sky was filled with gold and pink
They were the most brilliant colors
The ones that dreams are made of

And as I watched the sun appear
I realized I was a bottle sitting in this burning light
About to explode from so much inspiration
It’s been so many thousands of minutes now
Since I’ve seen that same sun rise in the Holy Land
And I feel like it was all a sweet dream
Spent in a foreign place, that was never really foreign
So I thought about life, about death, about love,
And I thought about what being Jewish means to me

It is everything grandpa fought for
Everything grandma was afraid of
Everything mom tried to hide
Everything dad was proud of
And it’s come to be everything I stand for

My religion used to be nothing more than a title placed upon me at birth
But, now if you could see into me, you would see so much more
I used to think it would be easier to just walk away
But now I have promised myself that I will be proud
Because there is no longer any choice for me
My brothers and sisters
Were pushed down
But still they fought for freedom
For life
For truth
So many times
And I will not abandon what they have given me

And after all this time,
Now I know
God has always lived in my dreams
He lives in my thoughts
And in my actions
And in my words
So be kind
To me
And others like me
Because I will respect you
If you will respect me

I’ve learned that being Jewish means
Everything that is future
Everything that is past
And it has spirit that is never ending
Hope is the sunlight we continue to pass on
And I pray you will all be part of that brilliant glow

Sheryl Burstein is the Director of Events for Gather The Jews and a former Jewish Girl of The Week.