The Court of the Captives

This is a prayer poem for all of the hostages in Gaza. We at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies have a special link to hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, the son of our own Rachel Goldberg. He is wounded and needs urgent medical care. Hear Rachel speak to the UN. This FaceBook post will help US citizens write letters to your congresspersons urging their support for a speedy release of the hostages. #bring_hersh_home #BringThemHomeNow

The Court of the Captives
One day,
The court of the captives
Will convene
Before the halls of power.
They will bring
Their torment and suffering
As evidence against us,
As evidence of our failure
To protect them,
As evidence of our failure
To redeem them
With speed and urgency.

On that day,
The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Will join the chorus –
The newly murdered,
Babies and dreamers,
Parents and children –
Bringing their blood
As evidence against us,
As evidence of our failure
To protect them,
As evidence of our failure
To secure our land and our people.

On that day,
The court of the captives,
And the court of the innocent,
Will minister to each other
At the gates of righteousness,
Both in heaven
And on earth,
Offering torn cloth
Soaked in tears
To bind their wounds,
To bless the living,
And to console the lost.

Yes, today,
The court of the captives
And the court of the innocent in heaven
Arraying the charges
Before us,
And wait,
Still wait,
For us to answer.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: This prayer / poem was influenced by my previous piece: “After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent.”

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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