It’s a nice spring day here at the pool. Sitting with those who wait.

The pool is empty. As usual.

Most of us glance intermittently at the pool, some stare.

There are circles around the pool. Those on the edge sit or lay right on the precipice, so they can throw themselves in at the first sign of Movement.


My mother always said that I think too much. She was probably right.

I figure the pool has to be spring fed. But you can’t see from where. I’ve looked.

Once in a while a great bubble comes up from somewhere below. They say it is the Holy One’s own breath. I’m not sure what That One would be doing down below. I’ve always been told That One was somewhere up above.

Anyway, sometimes the earth belches, and then the front row dives or falls in as fast as they can. They say if you get in first - it helps. Can’t say as I’ve seen that - But there are stories. Hard to tell who is first most of the time. Just a big splash. And then we have to fish out all the not-firsts before they drown.

I’m in the third row. I don’t have much of a chance. But it’s less boring and lonely than laying around the house. We get our news here. We tell jokes. And people drop off food and it's passed around by the halt but not-completely lame.


Some go home at night, for some this is home.  People’s spots are saved – this is sacred.  Ancient Asher died of old age waiting – his crippled son took his place, so I guess your spot can be hereditary.


We get our amusement where we can.  Front row people are supposed to be vigilant. But it gets boring, and guys don’t feel good, and they sleep. If someone is leaning, and sleeping, and in danger of falling, we usually nudge them or roll them back from the edge. But this afternoon Levi, Levi was perched.  Like perfectly balanced into the lean. And sound asleep. Everyone stopped watching the pool and started watching Levi. It was silent. It was like the whole world got silent.

Levi wavered, he teetered.

Then that smartass Dan started count backwards.

Kahmesh (5)… he whispered.

Arbah (4)…

Shalosh (3)…

Shta’im (2)…

And right then Levi started to fall. And the entire host shouted  AKHAT!

Right as Levi’s nose touched the water.

And everyone to the fourth circle who could move jumped in right after him!

The bowl was full of bodies. All the water was out of the pool.

But the laughter, and the shouting!  What a din!

I am sure that we disturbed the prayers in the Holy Places.

It took many minutes to extricate everyone. Unbending limbs. Shaking out beards.

We put everyone back in their places.

And then we noticed.

I shouted, Where is Levi? 

Great hubbub and searching.

Levi was nowhere to be found.


It took days for the pool to refill, up from below, slowly.

Someone said they saw Levi, walking on the road to Bethany.

But that is probably just a story.