The war in Israel
The war in IsraelShutterstock

A woman's Song of the Sea/ Tzippora Rosenberg

I, like Miriam,

Wish to cross a sea,

to sound a tambourine

to sing,

to praise,

to break out in dance

at the miracles I saw.

And I,

Like the Prophetess Devora,

I, Tzippora,

Wish to awaken

To find the foe is gone.

To bless those who came,

Who offered to help ,

Who opened our hearts

To chant in song

Of courage untold

That smites the walls of tunnels,

And blasts the warrens of evil.

To the wondrous women

Yael of the Kenites

Rachel of Ofakim

Whose bright countenances

Whose food and warm milk

Overcame Yavin’s commander

And the cruel Hamas terrorists.

As the mother in Israel once discerned

The spiritual state of a people,

Heroes risking lives, blood shed

All worthy of eternal praise

And that stars leave their orbits.

So may all our enemies fall

May the sun come out from the shadows

The land find respite from blood

For its beloved righteous sons.

Selected Sources: Exodus 15:20, Judges 5, https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/382455

Tzippora Rosenberg is a veteran teacher of Tanakh whose Hebrew poems, filled with allusions to biblical phrases and commentaries, have appeared in the Hebrew Makor Rishon newspaper.

The following poems are taken from a new volume of the Hineni series, a collection of poems of the spirit and writings of IDF soldiers, edited by Eliaz Cohen, well-known Israeli poet and editor of "Mashiv Haruach" magazine and books of poetry, who lives in Gush Etzion.

Hineni Cover
Hineni CoverEliaz Cohen

Something Will Arise / Eliaz Cohen

Something will arise out of all this blood

I know it

No longer will the Nile crocodile hiss

When a bird in the heavens sings again.

Something will arise out of all this blood

And he who became drunk on blood – will melt mountains

With his own blood.

Something will arise from all this blood

Perhaps poems, I see pierced words

O earth, cover not their blood.

(it’s the troth of blood that has entered me now)

Something will arise from all this blood -

I see

The purple garment of the Messiah coming.

Something will arise from all this blood

Suddenly, in the early morning, a nation

Will arise and begin to walk forward.

Something will arise from all this blood

And the prophet said – ‘in your blood, shall you live.’

in the meantime

The fear of the firstborn envelopes me each night

At midnight.

Selected Sources:Crocodiles ; Job 6,18; Genesis 15, 9; Hebrew song; Ezekiel 16, 16. Exodus 11.

Before reading the following poem, take a minute to read the popular 1973 post Yom Kippur War poem (translated into English) on which its meter is based and note the contrast:

We are the soldiers of Fall 2023/ Zohar Dor

Yes, we are the soldiers of Fall 2023

Our muscles taut with shock

Our efforts to suppress pain and stay stoic etched on our faces

You conceived us as children of peace after the Yom Kippur war,

The Six Day War, Operation Cast Lead.

But the cries from Be’eri to Re’im rent the peace that was never there

We are not its children

Although we wished so much to be.

Don’t look at us, as you might reveal the guilt

We stand proud and steadfast

Fighters filled with dedication and love (and fear)

If we stop we will feel the loss that has no place at all now.

We are the soldiers of the 2023 war

Your children

Perhaps asking for forgiveness

Falling in battle for our nation.

Zohar Dor serves in the 8200 IDF Cyber Corps. She was at the Re'im Base that was attacked on October 7th.

Translations: Rochel Sylvetsky