Almond Branch: Poem to a Slain Grandson
to the gates of Jerusalem.."
Thus begins a poem by the grandmother of a victim of 2008's Merkaz HaRav massacre.
Northern enemy nations came
To the gates of Jerusalem
And they bore with them a steaming vessel
Filled with raisins and almonds.
The almond’s blossoms fell by the wayside
Its buds unfolded—but they bore no fruit.
No almonds and raisins filled the steaming vessel
1.The prophet Jeremiah (1,11-12) speaks of evil that will come from the north and of his vision of almond branches and a steaming vessel that symbolize the destruction that will ensue.
2. A traditional Yiddish lullaby tells of a baby goat who sells raisins and almonds in the market.
(By Duba Kellerman in memory of her grandson Yochai Lifschitz, 18, murdered by a terrorist in the Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav library, Jerusalem, on Rosh Chodesh Adar 5768, along with seven other young yeshiva scholars. Sent to INN in Hebrew, translated by INN staff with her permission.)