There is no word for it in Hebrew, and it’s never used in the Bible except when someone says, "Go towards peace."
If I must go or if someone must leave me, I say, "See you later" or "We’ll talk soon" or "Email me."
Israelis either say, "lahitraot," meaning "see you later" or they say "shalom," which more often means "hello" and "peace." If they have to say it, they use a string of three languages-Hebrew, Arabic, English- as if to not claim any of them: "Oz, yalla, bye."
Jacob thought his son, Joseph, had been killed by an animal. Joseph said goodbye to his father with a coat drenched with his red life. How does one tell Jacob-who had been living for twenty years with the taste of metal in his throat- that his son is still alive?
Jacob’s grand-daughter sings to him the almost too sweet news slant playing the harp, its wire strings pressing dents into her strong fingers, her voice, almost silent in its depth, dazzles the impossible story gradually, un-doing the violent goodbye: your son’s still breathing body…
Winter Survival Kit
Keep the lamp high and lose the morning routine. It’s go in horizontal.
The wisdom will hover over the icy cars whether you notice or not.
What you love is hidden in the concealed parts.
Eve Grubin is the author of Morning Prayer, a book of poems. Her poetry has appeared in the American Poetry Review, The New Republic, and many other magazines and journals. She teaches at The New School and the City College of New York, and she runs the Arts Fellowships Program at the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education. Her essay, "After Eden: The Veil As A Conduit to the Internal" recently appeared in The Veil: Women Writers On Its History, Lore, and Politics (University of CA Press, 2008).
Images by Deva Suckerman.