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The Saturday poem: The Electrification of Beth Shalom

by Ruth Padel

I am looking too hard, or this scene is looking too hard
at me. Turn of the century and the last Chief Rabbi of Crete
is standing by seven naked bulbs, the first electric light
in town. What of the chandelier, a shiver of gold
chrysanthemums or, if you prefer, the roof?
He has decades to go, this Rabbi. They'll bury him in 1933.

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