Guest writer: Casey Tova Markenson

Blue fire rains explosive in my sleep.

Faces erased: Omar al-Fyumi.

Twenty three. Black shirts pray in protest streets.

If I am not for me, who will I be.

Hymns hum, my name softly knocks –

I wear no star but I’m a public Jew.

Blood wine spills, we offer mourner’s rocks,

My friend is cuffed and questioned on the news.

If I unlearn the lyrics to Hatikvah,

Can I relearn any Hebrew letters?

Flashbacks to erev my Bat Mitzvah,

A purple suit, a plain day in November.

How jagged are the myths that we call home;

Dagger tales, a place I’ve never known.


”This piece spawned from an experience at an #IfNotNow Shabbat service and rally. #IfNotNow is a call to action in the Jewish community, because as Jews we are horrified by the violence and destruction in Israel and Palestine being committed in our name.” Casey Tova Markenson is a writer, scholar-activist, and theatre maker. Her work examines how collective memory is embodied and performed. You can follow Casey Tova on twitter @CaseyTova, and keep up with #IfNotNow on Facebook and Twitter at @IfNotNowOrg.
#IfNotNow activists sit-in outside of the offices of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (9 were arrested as a result of this action). Photo credit: IfNotNow’s Facebook account.