is | Beacon, NY

at Beacon Hebrew Alliance

Beacon, NY



a performance of new heretical mystical poems and blessings by Yaakov Moshe (Jay Michaelson).


Published by Ben Yehuda Press, “is” is a powerful, mystical, and personal collection of confessional poems, aphorisms, and blessings in dharmic and Jewish modes. After Havdalah, Jay will perform some of this new work and share a few words of mystical Torah as well.


Advance praise for “Is”:

The best mystical poets tell it like it really is. Funny, touching, sobering, and uplifting, the poems of Is remind us that we are an oh-so-ephemeral part of the cosmic nothing, barely glimpsing the nature of reality under our own skins. Yet these poems also remind us of our deepest experiences of being alive as individual embodied beings. Is invites us into stillness and emptiness, but also into laughter and love.

Rabbi Dr. Jill Hammer, author of The Hebrew Priestess


What if Rumi or Hafiz were to walk into a poetry workshop? And who (besides God) would be qualified to judge their works? These Heretical Poems and Blessings are succinct, paradoxical, full of laughs and surprises, restoring spiritual wisdom (and foolishness!) to an empty art.

Timothy Liu, author of Kingdom Come: A Fantasia


“Is” is a very compelling book, full of Judaic Zen-like Koans and whispers that invite the reader to ponder what is, what isn’t, and what might yet be. I am sure I will return to this book again and again, each time going deeper and deeper into myself. Yaakov Moshe’s intelligence, insight, curiosity and wit bless every single page.

—Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies