Jewish Life Kolot

Kolot: These Leather Straps

Kolot: These Leather Straps
By Joseph Fleischman

Seven times I wrap around my arm
Then once again upon my head,
These leather straps by which I’m firmly bound
Contain the words of G-d and of His love for men
And like a key in some reluctant lock
They set my prayer free,
They’re like a frame to see
Who it is we really are, they help us look that far.

Then as we pray with one another,
Our private edges polish to a gloss.
It’s how we’ve learned to roll together,
It’s how we’ve learned to overcome our loss
Like being tethered by an anchor
Whenever we’re at sea,
And eruptions from the deep,
disrupt our unity, this is our comfort.

Each waking hour every single day
May be devoted to fulfill
The potent power of the words we pray
And all the hopes therein we harbor still
That our acceptance is the answer, and the final goal.
Then we become anew, remind ourselves to choose,
We serve Hashem as Jews
Just like before, it’s the same from the days of old.

Joseph Fleischman lives in New Haven with his wife, Reva. He is the father of four and the grandfather of two. Retired from the real estate business for three years, he is treasurer of the New Haven Eruv committee. He also spends much of his time learning Halacha at considerable depth with the online yeshiva, Pirchei Shoshanim.

KOLOT is a feature of the Jewish Ledger in which readers are invited to submit original work on a topic of their choosing. Inquiries and/or submissions should be sent to

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