On Belief

Zach Ben-Amots

About Zach Ben-Amots

I am a Chicago-based journalist, multimedia artist and writer. My work is informed by my background in Judaism, and I am drawn to the seemingly mundane as it informs personal growth and reflection.

About On Belief

The poem, ‘On Belief,’ is a rondeau, following the form’s classical rhyming scheme and stanza structure. It’s based on a poem by Yehuda Amichai about belief in God, combined with a quote by the Brazilian Jewish writer Clarice Lispector about the origin of the universe.

On Belief
after Yehuda Amichai & Clarice Lispector

I assert without faith that prayers created God,

that He was made only in order to respond,

that God isn’t there until we say His name.

Modeh Ani, with gratitude we proclaim

that our Godful world be prolonged,


that we say, Amen: the word a hadron collider,

that we flick Him into being like fire from a lighter,

that when I am asked if I believe in God,

I nod and assert without faith.


We created the God who in turn created us.

And Clarice wrote that it all began with a “Yes.”

One molecule to another, and so it was made

in the same breath with which they prayed

that gratitude grant us a world less Godless.

I can only assert without faith.