Taking Up the Staff of Our Ancestors: A Bar/Bat Mitzvah Poem

Taking Up the Staff of Our Ancestors: A Bar/Bat Mitzvah Poem

This poem describes the “staff” of Jewish heritage being passed from generation to generation, from Biblical times until today. With an emphasis on the significance of Jewish continuity, the poet posits that both the Jewish past and future live within the current generation – a message of profound meaning or a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrant. Devon Spier, a writer, rabbinical student and spiritual entrepreneur, shared her poem on Ritualwell, a project of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College that provides a platform for creating new Jewish practices and observances. 

Taking Up the Staff of Our Ancestors

There is an invisible staff we carry.

Passed from Jacob during the time of his wrestling,
To Aaron as he gestured in faithful summoning,
calling upon G-d’s wonders to lead us to freedom at the sea.

The staff is our certainty.
Our history and destiny.
To make our ancestors’ dreams and all our dreams, living, here today.

Neither the force of angels nor the hardened heart of Pharaoh could ever halt its passing through the generations.

By the staff, we know that our redemption is not only possible but
palpable, burned into memory, and real.

From the staff we behold the most precious of all Jewish continuities:
That our ancestors, like our future, exist within us.