In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Friday Night Services 1967
  • Jane Seitel (bio)

Near the bimah, His Honor Harry Zeitgeist davens like a holyterror toing and froing as his honorable Mrs. umphs in such awefuladmiration from above. Behind a carved balustrade, fanningherself with the rose colored supplement: kvelling at her baldhusband before silent prayer recedes—before the Kodosh. Herethe Aleinu ascends in baritones to a balcony, a newly painted blue

woman's section. Below, Young Mr. Frelech is singing the blues,though his vaybl Shandel's pregnant. At the news, he praised the HolyOne. Frelech's Fur Emporium was blessed with an apparent heirbut now the wife's nasty to his mother Rose. Everyone hears how awful!Then the ultra-sound (a girl!) and Rose paled, prayed, bawled.A meydl can't run the family business. So much farfaln fanning

flames of sibling rivalry. The brothers Frelech step outside, rabid fansat the Friday Fights—one for Terrell, the other Ali, black and blueauger pounding, pelting word after word, the family destiny balledin the mud auguring dry clay. Rose's fox stole bites its tail: un-holysacrifices, dead minks in the balcony. Eau de parfum like offalsmells up the temple as family intrigue smolders in the air. [End Page 75]

Thou shall love the Lord with all thy heart. Erringidle chatter infuses prayer, upstairs and downstairs. Books as fanshide flapping lips: Izzy's broke in-laws, Mimi's brisket. It's awful.Gossiping, Coveting, Offending, Cavorting. Mrs. Rosen turns blue,catching Kit Katz and the Stone-boy necking in the stairwell. HolyCow! Danger-fields of no respect where children are having a ball

as if it was a Drive-In, or sneaking a beer or wolfing a treyf BallPark Frank at Yankee Stadium. A pity. Now Rabbe Blitzer's sermon eruditeas the Alter Rebbe (though Old Lebediker snored until the holyheavens opened and the seas parted to save us at which time he fanneda fart to rise the dead our way and then the whole gimmel class blewa mouth-fart, reenacting the deed which the boys thought awfully

good). Beside Bess Baum her mom. Poor Feyge Reis. Really awful.Feyge sits like a sick bird on a broken twig. The chemo made her bald.A dress of faded flocks droops from her shoulders as she bends, blowsinto a linen hanky staining it a faint rose. Her lungs strain for air,fearful she might faint. Her daughter's hand rests light as a silk fanbetween her shoulder blades. Feyge, dazed and doped: Nothing is holy

about this. Nothing. The ending days. Awful. Without air, deathreaches high and low becoming a bald profaner of prayers offeredin holy devotion. In the balcony, prayers settle like dust on blue paint.


The elevated area or platform in a Jewish synagogue where prayers are chanted and where the Torah is read


To sway or rock lightly while chanting Jewish liturgical prayers


To rejoice or take delight in


The closing prayer of the morning, afternoon and evening service


A young married woman

Alter Rebbe:

Literally "the old Rebbe" and historically Shneur Zalman of Liadi, a Hasidic Rabbi from Liadi, Imperial Russia, who lived from 1745-1812


The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Sometimes the letter is applied to a Hebrew school class, the third class of studies, which contains elementary-school-aged children [End Page 76]

Jane Seitel

"Every good day deserves a time to kvell. Poetry is my alternative to midlife crisis. By happy chance I found the Drew University's MFA Poetry Program, where I am supported deliciously I am also mother, Expressive Art Therapist, gardener, chef-detective, American and Biblical Studies fanatic. My poetry reinvents the lives of children of immigrants or women from Torah and history. Prairie Schooner, Poetica, Midstream and Lilith have published my poetry. This year (2010) I won the Charlotte Newberger prize." You can contact Jane at



Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 75-76
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2012
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.