In Honor Of The Murdered…And Their Orphans

Note: The image above was taken at a Scharit minyan (morning prayer) that took place a day later and in the same place where a terror attack took place that killed two men and injured a mother and her baby in the Old City of Jerusalem.

In honor of the murdered
…and their orphans
(Sukkot 5776)

Last summer it was the 3 boys.
This Sukkot it is the 4 parents.

Their blood runs like a commentary
through our prayer books
and skirts around our
brimming dishes
our feasts
our guests
our visits
like a red henna
on our raised hands
as we tilt
another glass
to bless the good Lord who gave us life
and joy amidst the most
unsettling blasts.

We sit together surrounded – shrouded –
by sheets of light
– like a lit booth on a dark street.
Like a plain truth set
between falsities.

We are emptied and full.
We are teetering between.
We are sore
& soaring.
We are soiled
and washed clean.

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When we close our eyes
we see only those children
in the place where sleep should be.

Hoshea’na. Save us.
Save us from the monsters.
Save our humanity.

Le us not be undone by our anger
but let it pick open the lock
of our darkest closet-worth
of prayers.

For the sake of the martyred
and their orphans
– Dance another circle.
Beat the darkness with your willows
with your woeful, with your willful
with your feet.

For the sake of the parents
and their orphans.
Be the brightness.

Be the lit sukkah
on the dark street.