Category: Poems

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In This New Year

May we keep trying to beat our swords into ploughshares Even though our hands our tired our fingers are frail Our bombs into sphygmomanometers Even though our hearts are grown heavy and sad. Because, I think, the act […]

Next year in a better Jerusalem (18 Mini-Prayers)

1. May our pharaohs’ hearts be unhardened.

(May we teach our pharaohs how to act by allowing the pharaonic that lives in each of our hearts to be replaced with softness).

2. May those seeking refuge find refuge. 

(May those who came here from places like Sudan and Eritrea find hope, rather than scorn).

3. May this city be a city of shelter.

(May the Shamasneh family remain in their home. May the Sub Leban family remain in their home).

4. May we be blessed with real leadership. 

(May we rejoice as Ayman Odeh marches up the hill).

5. May we defy the demonic biddings of false prophets.

(Those who intone scriptures of vengeance and bellicosity).

 6. May we scorn the comfort of corrupt Kings.

(Those whose doctrines of indifference leave us all without real shelter).

7. May we honor the memory of the holy young man from Shuafat murdered in Jerusalem’s forest.

الله يرحمه

8. May we honor the memories of the beautiful worshippers slaughtered during their morning prayer in Har Nof.

יהי זכרונם לברכה

9. May we honor the memories of all of the others senselessly killed in this city.

Chaya Zissel Braun. Muhammad Sunqrut. 

10. May we honor them by doing all that we can to ensure that no more are senselessly killed.

— all that we can, all that we can, all that we can —

11. May the practices of children’s arrests and home demolitions be abolished. 

Surely we can see that this is nothing but cruel affliction. Surely we can hear their cries.

12. May the children studying at the bilingual school be allowed to study (peace) in peace. 

(May the children studying at all schools be allowed to study in peace).

13. May the bilingual school turn into a trilingual school.

(?פארוואס נישט). Or make it hexalingual: Tigrinya and Russian and Ladino, too.

14. May we allow laughter in when it is possible to do so.

(Sometimes it is possible).

15. May we weep whenever necessary to do so.

(Often it is necessary; how often do we allow ourselves?)

16. May we make room for contradiction, for confusion, for unsureness, for unknown. 

(                             )

17. May we love. 

(May we be loved; May we be love)

18. Next year in a better Jerusalem. 

(Jerusalem is exactly as holy or as profane as we make it)

***

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