Yom HaShoah, תשפ’ד

A Yom HaShoah prayer-poem for 5784, in the form of a vision, imagining how the souls of murdered in the Holocaust might respond to the souls of the murdered in the Hamas shock assault of October 7, 2023. The Holocaust victims in heaven purposefully misquote verses from four Psalms–Psalms 121 and 129-131–reframing them as questions, rather than asserting them as statements of faith.

Yom HaShoah, תשפ’ד
In the precincts of heaven,
The Six Million assemble,
Guiding the newly murdered
To the sacred courtyards,
While the defenders of Israel stand guard
On the ramparts and at the gates.
As they approach the inner courtyard,
The multitudes sing psalms,
Not as praise, as questions:

Does the Guardian of Israel
Slumber and sleep? (Ps 121)
Will You cut the bonds of the wicked? (Ps 129)
From the depths I call out;
Do You hear my voice? (Ps 130)
Shall we put our hope in You? (Ps 131)

In the courtyards of heaven
The Six Million assemble,
Bringing with them the
Newly murdered.
With their blood and tears
They entreat the Holy of Holies:
Free the hostages.
Protect Your people.
Save our land.
To the living they declare:

© 2024 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: See also “O Auschwitz, O Birkenau.”

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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