By Adam Penna

What does it matter if he was turning
stones into doves or begging in the street?
Work is work, and rest is rest.
These aren’t rules a man, no matter how holy,
can break. I guess even the Lord himself,
if he so declared, couldn’t overturn
the Sabbath, if he wanted to, and remain God.
But that is just the kind of thing young people
want to believe. That somehow good
progresses away from the old and toward the new.
Nothing, they think, is understood eternally.
But if this is true, tell me, what god
do you pray to? A god that isn’t yet?
How can that be? And where does that leave
creation and your ancestors Adam and Eve?

They will cite my anger as a sin,
and say I am another example proving
things must change. My opinions
have crystallized. That may be true,
and if it is, so be it. But I dare you, Christ child,
to turn my heart into a bird. Rub me
between your two cracked palms and see
what comes of that. Let your followers witness
a real challenge. I am no wishy-washy Roman.
I am a real Jew. I know what Truth is.
I have been practicing it my whole life,
like my father and his father before him.

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One Response to “Breaking the Sabbath”


  1. […] Penna’s poems “Men of Faith,” “Joseph on His Deathbed,” and “Breaking the Sabbath.” Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponRedditEmailPrintDiggLinkedInLike […]


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