Stephanie Friedman is a writer who lives in the neighborhood of Hyde Park on the South Side of Chicago with her partner and their two daughters, where they are members of Congregation Rodfei Zedek. She holds an MA from the University of Chicago and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her work has appeared in venues such as Michigan Quarterly Review, JewishFiction.net, and RiverTeeth’s Beautiful Things series.
A lamentation poem, based on Eikha, chapter 5, on today's Chicago, by Stephanie Friedman: "Whatever we imagine renewing, we must imagine anew. The sanctuary we would rededicate, the city we would rebuild, will not be some prelapsarian state to which we will be passively restored..."
In our day, we consume a voracious amount, without much thought to how each act of consumption could reveal our relationship to both the physical and the numinous worlds. Does this make us like Nadab and Abihu, offering an unscripted pan of incense in either our ignorance or our arrogance, ignoring the order of things as well as the necessary physicality of the gift that would connect us to the One beyond, thinking that an odor alone will do?