Today is June 14, 2024 -

Congregation Sha'arey Israel

A Conservative Jewish Congregation serving the spiritual needs of the Middle Georgia Jewish community since 1904

611 First Street, Macon, GA 31201
Phone: (478) 745-4571

Yehuda Amichai & The 10 Commandments

My father was God and didn’t know it. He gave me

the Ten Commandments not in thunder and not in anger,

not in fire and not in a cloud, but gently

and with love. He added caresses and tender words,

“Would you” and “please.” And chanted “remember” and “keep”

with the same tune, and pleaded and wept quietly

between one commandment and the next: Thou shalt not

take the name of thy Lord in vain, shalt not take, not in vain,

please don’t bear false witness against your neighbor.

And he hugged me tight and whispered in my ear,

Thou shalt not steal, shalt not commit adultery, shalt not kill.

And he lay the palms of his wide-open hands on my head

with the Yom Kippur blessing: Honor, love, that thy days

may be long upon this earth. And the voice of my father —

white as his hair. Then he turned his face to me one last time,

as on the day he died in my arms, and said, I would like to add

two more commandments:

the Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not change.”

and the Twelfth Commandment, “Thou shalt change. You will change.”

Thus spoke my father, and he turned and walked away

and disappeared into his strange distances.