Kabbalah Barbie by Barbara Louise Ungar


The god you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.
—Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev

In beginning . . .
there is nothing. No-thing.
We say Ein Sof, Without End,
though it cannot be named
or described. If I say God,
you imagine a being like yourself,
the way you made me, a lump of plastic
molded like you, distorted.

Before there was anything—but
if I say before, that’s wrong,
too, because there was no time,
only Ein Sof. What spoke the word
light, and there was light,
a big (if silent) bang.
Whence we sprang, each
a shard of the Nameless
that splintered into every name.

In beginning…bereishit
we have seventy interpretations
of that first word. Stories
about stories, echoing creation,
each of us an emanation
of a tenseless verb.

Language entangled with
creation: each separate
being, split off from Ein Sof,
speaks its name but must
end and return to the Nameless.

So let me tell you a story, before
bed, my pretty little head not much
emptier than yours.
______________What am I?
A toy, a doll, frail.
A mouthpiece
for a child.
________What are you?