Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
Tephillin
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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