Who Frees the Captive

two hands reaching to the heavens
How do you decide, God Who Frees the Captive,
who will go free, who will remain
in the hands of Evil, in the house of Death?
When the elderly widow passes before you,
what sins do you measure, how do you compare
the lives of a 4-year-old girl, a 9-year-old boy,
a wounded father, a bereaved mother
what do you weigh for or against them
what confession must they make
what sin did they commit
for which they atone with survivors’ guilt
and traumatic memories?
How do we choose who will live or
who will die, what measure do we use
to free them and ourselves from this nightmare,
must there always be this awful choice
the agony of weighing one life against another?
Do you weep, Matir asurim, while you edit the Book of Life?


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