Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Baruch November: Dream 12

It is a bright dance club, lit by violet strobe lights.

With improbable expertise, 

young rabbis prance to the blaring 

pop music under a billion 

spinning mirrors balls.


“Nu,” they take turns asking me, “why don’t you try  

and dance a little?” 

But I won’t do it, having always despised 

dancing. My soul is far 

too heavy for my body 

to ever be light.


Music groans louder. Bass rumbles 

the entire world. Strobe lights 

shatter into yellow and purple petals, 

falling into beards of the rabbis.


Unfazed, they shake, twist, flip, try

even harder to pull me inside

their jittering circles. They tell me it is okay to dance 

to this music as we all should 

be very modern religious Jews 

who need to bust the most modern moves.


The frenetic music seems hard for anyone

to resist—but I can’t move to it.

My rigid soul has never found its way

down to my feet.

Some rabbis break by the bar to drink large 

herring schmaltz cocktails,

filled with plenty of ice and sliced onions.


At center of their dance circles, one woman 

dancer appears, then another, and another,

each one clothed in 

leathery tightness of our day.


All rabbis blush and rush out of the club, 

throwing up their black hats 

as if they just graduated.

Copyright 2019 Baruch November. From Bar Mitzvah Dreams published by Main Street Rag.

Dancing Rabbis | Becky Paul Reichman

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