"I Studied Love" by Yehuda Amichai (1924 - 2000) translated by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld first appeared in The Atlantic in July of 1998:
I studied love in my childhood in my childhood synagogue
in the women's section with the help of the women
behind the partition
that locked up my mother with all the other women
But the partition that locked them up locked me up
on the other side. They were free in their love while I
locked up with all the men and boys in my love, my longing.
I wanted to be over there with them and to know their
and say with them, "Blessed be He who has made me
according to his will." And the partition
a lace curtain white and soft as summer dresses, and
swaying to and fro with its rings and its loops,
lu-lu-lu loops, Lulu, lullings of love in the locked room.
And the faces of women like the face of the moon behind
or the full moon when the curtain parts: an enchanted
cosmic order. At night we said the blessing
over the moon outside, and I
thought about the women.
(Photo: An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man looks at a Palestinian shop owner reading the Muslim holy Koran outside his shop near the Ibrahimi Mosque, or Tomb of the Patriarchs, in the divided West Bank city of Hebron on September 15, 2010. By Hazem Bader /AFP/ Getty Images)
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