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Poetry Submission: Tisha B'av Poem

By Ben Bresky
7/18/2010, 12:00 AM

Tisha B'av Poem
by Esther Sarah Evans

Ribono shel Olam, we’re reading
You clearer and clearer,
May you bring Moshe Rabeinu
And Geula nearer and nearer –
Not for us to be smug,
HaShem, please give us a hug and forgive us
The unforgiveable –
We messed up very much, when we ignored
Your Shaliach, Chofetz Chaim,
and failed reading him even clear –
To watch our tongues,
yes, but more than that to heed the warning
He gave about nationalism rising in Russia and elsewhere,
tempting the Goyim to make Jew kill Jew –
In word and in deed –
Yes, our corrupted judgment –
our judgment fed with Sinas chinam made sophisticated,
assimilated German Jews reject fellow Yidden
From the east, hate their very tongue –
Yiddish – caused them to die of heart-ache.
Yes, first German Jew fought against French and English Jews,
nations and nations of Jews fighting Jews, fighting Jews -
All this was in the news,
but it did not sink into our heads, our hearts,
How can we stand here now and ask what made a Shoah happen, ask
Where were You, when we had forgotten even somebody’s Zeyde living
Right across the border where we were shooting,
bombing goyishly,
Joyously wiping out our very humanity,
let alone Jewish Neshama,
Getting decorated like a treife wedding cake
and soiling our marriage
With you at Sinai, playing prostitutes,
even worse, engaging in self-satisfaction
In public – for all the wide world to see,
that the light we once carried within us
Was spent on the toys of the Goyim, oy vey is’ mir, Ribono shel Olam,
both the sun and the moon turned dark
at the fall of our spark into unknown depths
Of disaster and rising in clouds of black stench
from the chimneys of Auschwitz,
G-tteinu, how we failed to see
how we soiled our souls and polished the medals
Of murder – yes, Jew killing Jew is murder –
not war as they called it, but murder,
Bloody murder of brothers;
compared to us Cain was a blinking novice, how dare
We pick up Tallis, Tefillin and Torah
with these hands that murdered, oy vey,
Ribono shel Olam, how many Tefillos, how many Doros must pass before we can
Recover some of our human decency, renew our romance with you –
no wonder
Our Shir HaShirim sounds like a death dirge;
do we have hearts still for Milah –
Milim, Milim, Milim and ne’er an act of kindness –
a sign of “no”, not for us
To donate the corpses of our fellow Jews to the national coffers –
masspik shoin – Masspik –
for three things women forfeit their children –
not heeding the laws
Of Nida, Challah and Hadlikas HaNer –
for three things we forfeit our own lives –
Rather than commit adultery, avoidah zares and murder –
bloody murder – and don’t let us say they are unrelated, -
no, Ribono shel Olam, we mumbled the words,
But murdered them too,
the words with which you wrought creation,
with Your Otiot
We wrought utter chaos again,
ripped from the very womb the seed of Moshiach,
Then blubbered our way along blindly,
not seeing that we had extinguished the Menorah,
The Or HaTamid –
turned the Holy of Holies into a whorehouse.
A louse, a mere louse
Has more Chesed than to drain the last drop of blood
from the beast on which he feeds,
And we – who put the war drums of the Goyim
in place of David’s harp’s windsong
Of hope – meolam kivinu Lakh? –
No, we committed adultery,
avoidah zares and murder
BeRatzon rav –
sold your Ratzon for a medal for murder and then asked for your mercy,
When our whoredom was exploited again for the Endlösung,
the final solution – but no,
Barukh HaShem, theirs will not be the final word,
but that of Moshe Rabeinu, who,
If You will but forgive him, will still, still,
still intercede on our behalf – if, oh please,
Someone will understand what, beEzratkha
I have tried to write here, …and pass it on…
Fast