Jewish
Haikus

Lacking fins or tail
the gefilte fish swims
with great difficulty.

Beyond Valium,
peace is knowing one's child
is an internist.

On Passover we
opened the door for Elijah.
Now our cat is gone.

After the warm rain
the sweet smell of camellias.
Did you wipe your feet?

Her lips near my ear,
Aunt Sadie whispers the name
of her friend's disease.

Today I am a man.
Tomorrow I will return
to the seventh grade.

Like a bonsai tree,
is your terrible posture
at my dinner table.

Jews on safari --
map, compass, elephant gun,
hard sucking candies.

The same kimono
the top geishas are wearing:
I got it at Loehmann's.

The shivah visit:
so sorry about your loss.
Now back to my problems.

Mom, please! There is no
need to put that dinner roll
in your pocketbook.

Seven-foot Jews in
the NBA slam-dunking!
My alarm clock rings.

Sorry I'm not home
to take your call. At the tone
please state your bad news.

Is one Nobel Prize
so much to ask from a child
after all I've done?

Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz.
Five-day forecast: feh

Yenta. Shmeer. Gevalt.
Shlemiel. Shlimazl. Meshuganah
Oy! To be fluent!

Quietly murmured
at Yom Tov services,
Yanks 5, Red Sox 3.

A lovely nose ring,
excuse me while I put my
head in the oven.

Hard to tell under the lights.
White Yarmulke or
male-pattern baldness

At the stadium
No kosher hotdog for me
Acid reflux

Burt Fischman
The Zen
of Judaism

If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

Be here now.
Be someplace else later.
Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life;
with the first sip, joy;
with the second sip, satisfaction;
with the third sip, peace;
with the fourth, a Danish.

Wherever you go, there you are.
Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing.
Do not wish for perfect health,
or a life without problems.
What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single Oy.

There is no escaping karma.
In a previous life,
you never called,
you never wrote,
you never visited.
And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?
Bupkis.

The Tao does not speak.
The Tao does not blame.
The Tao does not take sides.
The Tao has no expectations.
The Tao demands nothing of others.
The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

Let your mind be as a floating cloud.
Let your stillness be as a wooded glen.
And sit up straight.
You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You might want to see a specialist.

Be aware of your body.
Be aware of your perceptions.
Keep in mind that not every physical sensation
is a symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says,
Love your neighbor as yourself.
The Buddha says,
There is no self.
So, maybe we're off the hook.

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