Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
By Aaron Schaffer
ERECT he stands, in fervent prayer,
  His body cloaked in silken Tallis;
He seems a king, so free from care,
  His wife a queen, his home a palace,
His arm and head, his brawn and brain,        5
  He dedicates to God in Heaven;
For Him he suffers toil and pain,
  Endures whatever lot he’s given.
Around his arm seven times is wrapped
  A wide phylactery, glistening thong;        10
His shaggy, curly hair is capped
  By still another, tough and strong.
These bands he wears while soft he prays,
  Devoting strength and mind to God;
His body slowly, gently sways,—        15
  He walks the ground his fathers trod.
This daily commune with the Master
  Lifts him above mere common clay;
The Jewish heart, like alabaster,
  Grows pure and purer every day,        20
For he who loves a Higher Being
  Must love all creatures here below;
And he who knows there’s one All-Seeing,
  Knows all he can and e’er will know.

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