The Hills of Judea

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

THE HILLS OF JUDEA by Rabbi Nota Schiller

Flecked with stubble
Shingled by rock
Crouched
In silent unison
Impassive
To the holiday
Of Prismatic hours
Massive range of backs
As if
Some untold weight
Held
These herds of hills
In check

When those
Bronzed and savage
Mounts of the south
Those sun-baked
Giants of the Negev,
When,
Thundering over
Trembling plains
They had courted
The lovely
Scented hills
Of Galilee

They, in their
Verdant days
Dotted with
White and waving
Daisies

Then the skies
Were bloodied
With the heavings
Of mountains
Being born

A subtler breed
Torn of the green and gold
A sturdier beauty
Rooted in peopled plateaus
Crowned by clouded skies

A bold
And domestic breed
Kneeling
And stretching
Sprawling flanks
Where men
Could climb
And reach
And climb

Carrying,
Lifting,
Those men
To a peculiar height
Thrusting
A shadow of light
Beyond the tenses,
The length and breadth
Of
Man

A faithful breed
A singular specie.

Which anger kicked those flanks?
Which tempers stabbed those groins?
Which
No more - no less
Than man
Too thrilled
At his long
And illuminated
Image

First danced
With heavy heathen
Shoes
On those
Taunt arched backs,
Who cracked
And broke
Those great
Bent backs
And left
A range
Of twisted spines

Chained and
Weighted
With
The ironies
Of man-made
Thanks.


HTML Design: Michael Treblow
Digital Colorizing: Yonah Roberts
Copyright © 1997 Ohr Somayach International. Send comments to: ohr@ohr.edu
Ohr Somayach International is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation (letter on file) and your donation is tax deductable.