Poems of Jewish Faith and Culture

From holiday poems to quiet spiritual reflections, these poems and articles celebrate the interweaving of Jewish faith, cultural traditions, and literary history.
Illustration for Poems of Jewish Faith and Culture.

Hymns, blessings, and invocations to read alongside scripture and traditional prayers.

  • Anonymous

    Open the gates—the radiant portals,
    Swift to Thy sons who are lovely and pure.

  • Yitzhak Luria

    I hereby call
           to the Ancient of Days
    to summon His will
           to drive them away—

  • Eleazar ben Kalir

    At altars, ye mighty, proclaim loud His praise,
    And multitudes too may whisper His lays.

  • Kalonymos ben Moses of Lucca

    Holy—He sets apart one day in all the year;
    Holy—He pardons them whose longing turns to Him.

  • Stanley Moss

    You are All
    and I am a particle. Who should have mercy
    on a particle if not the All?

  • Robin Becker

    Bind me to these friends and to this child
    that I may learn my true relation to the people of this story

  • Ya'akov Hakohen

    Send the dew of blessing, the dew of grace;
    renew my dispensation, and grant me length of days.


Often deep in dialogue with holy scripture, these poems update Judaism for contemporary culture on many continents.


Food, family, community, exile, and struggle through the long lens of Jewish history.


On Jewish religious, cultural, and literary tradition.

  • Peter Cole

    What, apart from a historical and armchair sense of the intense religious experience of spiritual adepts, does Kabbalah—and specifically the poetry of Kabbalah—have to tell us as readers today?

  • Forrest Gander

    In August 2008, I flew to Budapest, Hungary, to meet with the 96-year old widow of the poet Miklós Radnóti.

  • An exchange between Peter O'Leary and Alicia Ostriker (Peter O’Leary & Alicia Ostriker)

    Poets of different faiths come together over the Bible’s most celebrated lyrics.

  • Rachel Zucker

    I got the question I most often get (this one is always, always asked by a women and never by a man): “are you worried about what your children or family will think about your poems?” Often, in response to this question I talk about being Jewish.

  • Various (Jericho Brown)

    “One Whole Voice” is comprised of extracts from A God in the House: Poets Talk about Faith, edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Katherine Towler.