September 1, 2010
22 Elul 5770
The Holy Souls
Yitzchak and Talya Ames
May their memory be a blessing
How Does One Express a Tear on Paper?
You will win O Lord, if I make claim against You, yet I shall present charges….
Yirmiyahu the prophet
Were it not for the Lord…
they would have swallowed us alive
in their burning rage against us.
Upon arising from my slumber this morning
I heard of the great slaughter
in Your land.
Four children of Abraham and Sara appeared before Your throne
within a second
without a chance to prepare themselves for the journey.
Innocent Jews gunned down by those who threw off Your image.
Seven children, forever deprived of their parents’ love.
In emptiness will they stand at their chuppah
This morning I went to synagogue
but could not speak to You.
I uttered words but angels could not bring them before You
since my heart could not lift them beyond their plain meaning.
They were struck in my throat; they never left my mouth beyond their sounds.
I admit I was annoyed with You.
You were there!
Why did You not deflect the bullets before they could hit these holy souls?
Why did You not command them, “You shall not kill”?
Oh God, this did not happen only in our lives
but also in Yours
in Your time!
to Your image!
to Your Torah!
was a teacher for developmentally delayed children with special needs.
With boundless love she brought joy and hope to these children.
And now she stands up above, before You,
pleading for her children below.
What do You answer?
Oh no, I will not deny Your existence.
You have spun a web around us who live in the Holy Land.
Every thread makes us feel Your being.
We shall not succumb to the cheapness
of the argument of Your absence.
But why, Oh God, do You spin the web so tight that we cannot breathe?
That we suffocate in Your overwhelming presence?
I am lost, speechless and overwhelmed,
like a child who cannot find his way in Your Temple,
who bathes in Your glory but is strained by Your silence.
Yet, I shall not forget all the miracles You deliver every day in this land.
Our daily life is like an ongoing splitting of the Red Sea.
The waves of water stop at our feet
and we barely escape, aware that at any moment the storm of terrorizing evil
could drown us. No doubt You protect us.
We are like a bird escaped from the fowler’s trap The trap broke and we escaped.
But why not keep the waters at bay
when they crash down with all their strength?
My nerve tendrils are intertwined with Yours.
The pain of our people is blended with Your goodness.
Before Your throne we stand, trembling, on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
What will be with our children and grandchildren?
Will there be war?
An onslaught on Your holy people,
that will drown every Jew and every Gentile in this world?
King David has promised us:
The Lord will guard you from all harm…
The Lord will guard your goings and comings now and forever.
Let it be so.