For the Holy Martyrs

grassy path at sunset

For Dr. Shlomo Gensler, MD and other rescuers

Are You looking for us? We are here,
Though not as many as there were before.
Where are You, God? Your Holy Season was long—
As we Prayed, Repented, and Beat our breasts—
Casting up our prayers to reach Your glorious Throne
For a safe and sweet and healthy New Year 5784.
So little to ask, O God? So little…
What happened to our prayers, O God?
Did You hear them? When? Who? Where?
God? I cannot see You—the smoke of war is very thick—
But there, there! I see the scorch-marks on Your throne,
Black marks left by the missiles and bullets and RPGs
Fired by those who hate You, and us, and all humanity.
The politicians rant and women sob,
And too close by, the rifles clear their throats.
“In 586 Before the Christian Era
When the Babylonians conquered us, I sheathed my broken sword
And bore it into exile, (useless to me then,
But fraught with possibilities for days to come).
The Holy Temple was destroyed; the war was lost,
The people scattered.”
And more:
“In 70 CE, when the Romans marched on our Jerusalem,
All chafed and sweaty in their war-armour,
They destroyed the Temple (yet again!), but our People lived:
We packed our bags and moved to
Another part of the World.
The Babylonians are dead.
The Romans are gone.
And now, we suffer this latest massacre.
God! Tell us what will happen at the end?”
God speaks:
“Let other people come as floods
That overflow a valley
And leave uprooted trees, bombed-out buildings, and boulders strewn:
My Jews are as the grass, fresh on a summer’s day,
Trodden under foot today
But here tomorrow morning.”





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