Three Angels: In Memory of Yochai, Killed in the Merkaz Harav Massacre

A poem in memory of the writer's grandson, a brilliant high school student and matmid, murdered in the Merkaz Harav Massacre, March 2008.

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Duba Kellerman ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7

On Friday night, two angels accompany every man as he makes his way home from the synagogue (Talmudic Tractate Shabbat: 119) If the candles are lit and the house is readied for the Shabbat, the good angel says "May it be this way every Shabbat" and the evil angel must say "Amen."

Three angels accompany

The father to his home on Shabbat

One good and one evil

And the third one –

How tall he is!

And they find the candles lit

And the table set

And a line of pain etched

On the mother's forehead.

The third sees

A portrait of himself

On the wall

That has not changed

Since the hour he was called to his Maker

And his only chair

Is mute in its emptiness

And his kiddush cup on the shelf

Is alone and ashamed.

As the father sings to the angels

The third cries

Bless me my father

I must leave, the time has come

And the mother keens

Bless me my son

When will you come once again

And the third one answers

On the Shabbat we do not mourn

For our consolation is at hand

And the parents answer

May it be so

And the good and evil angels

Have no choice but to say


The writer's grandson, Yochai Lifshitz, Hy"d, a pupil in the Yeshiva Letzeirim, the high school attached to Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, was murdered in the Merkaz Harav massacre in March 2008. This poem was written for his yahrzeit. (Translated from the Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky.).