poetry: On Board

I imagine that you were conflicted,
when your brother left for America,
leaving behind more than could be understood,
by anyone, who already stood on the shores
of the land of opportunity, and assimilation.

When his family was finally able to join him,
what could be envisioned as their future,
amidst the multitude of countless faces,
indifferent to the truth that binds the lives
of the faithful together over centuries?

Your brother – my great-grandfather –
his decision, the only reason, that I am alive today.
How can I complain? Yet, I am also conflicted,
knowing I should be grateful, to have even been born.
Despite the fact that I still yearn, to live
like my ancestors did in Bolechov.

Jerusalem Day

B”H

May 22, 2020

A poem: Perhaps

Perhaps someone knows,
where the fire still glows.

Perhaps, the stars still shine
over the lives of distant relatives.

Somewhere, in the darkness of the past,
perhaps, they returned home at last.

Today, I continuously search,
within the ashes of the Shoah.

Searching for my lost family members,
whose fate is unknown.

Yet, the light from Shomayim
will always protect their souls.

Wrapped up in the Bundle of Life,
they are preserved forever.

by Tzvi Fievel Schnee

Reflection: Yom HaShoah

B”H

Ezekiel 37:11
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַי בֶּן־אָדָם הָֽעֲצָמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵמָּה הִנֵּה אֹֽמְרִים יָֽבְשׁוּ עַצְמוֹתֵינוּ וְאָבְדָה תִקְוָתֵנוּ נִגְזַרְנוּ לָֽנוּ׃
Then he said to me, son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.

Ezekiel 37:12
לָכֵן הִנָּבֵא וְאָֽמַרְתָּ אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּֽה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יֱהֹוִה הִנֵּה אֲנִי פֹתֵחַ אֶת־קִבְרֽוֹתֵיכֶם וְהַֽעֲלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם מִקִּבְרֽוֹתֵיכֶם עַמִּי וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶתְכֶם אֶל־אַדְמַת יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Therefore prophesy and say to them, Thus says the L-rd G-d: Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

  • Tanach Bible

Out of the ashes of the Shoah, Israel was restored in 1948, thus fulfilling the prophecy, “Is a land born in one day? Is a nation brought forth at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8, JPS 1917 Tanach).