Tuesday, April 14, 2015

“Unetaneh Tokef”(High Holiday Prayer) For Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Day)

What do angels do?
Each day they agree to praise
In tones gentle and pure, obedient, loyal…
Such calm and serenity
A daily  celestial celebration
Then the New Year arrives..
And angels change their course,
In the heavenly heights,  fidelity gives  way to frenzy
As Angels scurry about,
Chaos , not the chorus of sweet melody,
To praise , to protest, to stay silent?
A day of judgment!
Who shall live and who shall die, and how???

Below mortals in quiet calm of sacred space
Embraced by coziness of family and friends,
And competent clergy, 
God is our  Shepherd , we read,
counting  little lambs shepherded back to safety after a long  day of grassy grazing
Each one passing under His soothing staff, counting and recording each little lamb;
If  one is missing then, like Moses, He  crosses  mountains and valleys 
And  cradled in the arms of the Almighty, little lost ones come  home.

we pass under His rod-
 a crook of compassion.
He will care for us, see to it that tomorrow’s 
Surprises will be pleasant ones-

Another New Year, without synagogue, 
Without heavenly hopes
This time in hell-
The Teuton god carries a stick,  a crook of cruelty 
He too counts and records , but with  the precision of  German 
 Gemeindschaft, the heart of perverted power
Babies in wailing mothers arms pass under the gold tipped staff-
crazed , they arrive at  stone cold enclaves ,
In cars meant for cattle, not fleecy, cuddly lambs!

No rhetorical questions waiting for an answer-
 All will die, some immediately, others too soon-
How? By gas, by fire, by wild beasts who play the part of  kind shepherds
To fool and deceive –
“Arbeit Macht Frei” the sign reads-
the reward for work is freedom-
And if one little lamb is unaccounted for, 
no effort will be spared to find it and bring it back home, home to the wolf’s claws, 
 where it belongs, soon to ascend 
chimney stacks and join the  smoke filled skies-
Angels abound, angels of death,  scurrying  about, with clear minds and hearts-
Doing their duty with reverent obedience
Performing their tasks of terror and death
Joyfully and with melody and song.

Please God-don’t be so meticulous in your 
Accounting of us and your divine record keeping-
Turn away  for a moment , so that we can escape  and hide 

Until liberators arrive and take us back to pens of promise. 

No comments: