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Faithful Pledge

In peace, I rest my soul at twilight,

my heart satiated with your word.

Israel’s flag of blue and white,

and Ukraine’s blue and yellow unfurled.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

A profound solidarity, exemplified;

all of the nations contribute support,

hoping all wounds will be remedied,

amongst the people in body, mind, and heart.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

All who seek to be a blessing to others

must give from the depths of the soul,

so as to transcend our selfishness

for the sake of nurturing all.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Some have pledged their lives,

others have reignited their faith,

still more have seen the light,

a reason to stand against wrath.

~~~~~ ~~~~~ ~~~~~

Even more of us give what we can,

and refrain from ignoring the pain,

of the voiceless and downtrodden,

all of us humans at heart the same.

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The Way of Hope

Take note of my story, for future generations dear reader. Take heart at the uplifting tale that I will bring to your ears. For over the years, my words will fade into oblivion, as the boots march onward into history, trampling upon all that came before the inversion of truth. Woe unto them that call darkness light, and light darkness; blessed are they who seek restoration.

I wandered lonely as a cloud, my footsteps tracing upon the earth, what would otherwise have been the shadow of the cloud following me overhead. Across the generations, my people have endured, beyond the pale of jurisdiction, what may seem impossible to endure. The Source of our strength sustains us, beyond what we are able to sustain on our own. Only by divine decree, have we continued to flourish across the centuries, despite the intentions of our enemies.

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In Prayerful Solidarity

“In thee, O L-RD, have I taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Thy righteousness. Incline Thine ear unto me, deliver me speedily; be Thou to me a rock of refuge, even a fortress of defence, to save me. For Thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for Thy name’s sake lead me and guide me. Bring me forth out of the net that they have hidden for me; for Thou art my stronghold. Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; Thou hast redeemed me, O L-RD, Thou G-d of truth. I hate them that regard lying vanities; but I trust in the L-RD. I will be glad and rejoice in Thy lovingkindness; for Thou hast seen mine affliction, Thou hast taken cognizance of the troubles of my soul, And Thou hast not given me over into the hand of the enemy; Thou hast set my feet in a broad place. Be gracious unto me, O L-RD, for I am in distress; mine eye wasteth away with vexation, yea, my soul and my body. For my life is spent in sorrow, and my years in sighing; my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are wasted away. Because of all mine adversaries I am become a reproach, yea, unto my neighbours exceedingly, and a dread to mine acquaintance; they that see me without flee from me. I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind; I am like a useless vessel. For I have heard the whispering of many, terror on every side; while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But as for me, I have trusted in Thee, O L-RD; I have said: ‘Thou art my G-d.’ My times are in Thy hand; deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant; save me in Thy lovingkindness. O L-RD, let me not be ashamed, for I have called upon Thee; let the wicked be ashamed, let them be put to silence in the nether-world. Let the lying lips be dumb, which speak arrogantly against the righteous, with pride and contempt. Oh how abundant is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee; which Thou hast wrought for them that take their refuge in Thee, in the sight of the sons of men! Thou hidest them in the covert of Thy presence from the plottings of man; Thou concealest them in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the L-RD; for He hath shown me His wondrous lovingkindness in an entrenched city. As for me, I said in my haste: ‘I am cut off from before Thine eyes’; nevertheless Thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto Thee. O love the L-RD, all ye His godly ones; The L-RD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully repayeth him that acteth haughtily. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all ye that wait for the L-RD.” – Psalm 31, JPS 1917 Tanach

The Light of Truth

The Light of Truth

When light is diminished in this world,

we seek the scroll of Esther unfurled,

to bring to light what remains hidden,

drawing close to G-d, even when not bidden.

When darkness seems to prevail,

we find hope in Mordechai’s tale,

of triumph, in the battle of us and them,

the tides were turned in our favor by H’Shem.

The light of truth shone bright,

when Haman’s plan was revealed in full site,

to King Ahasuerus at Esther’s feast,

when all the coincidences came into place.

Today, we celebrate yesterday’s victory,

steadfast in prayer in the morning early,

awaiting the light that appears at dawn,

when the L-RD will right all that is wrong.

Like colors in a mystical kaleidoscope,

blue and yellow blend with hope,

when all of the colors melt into one,

in expectation of the rising sun.

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The Call of Silence

As the tanks roll into the cities,

blue and yellow flags are waved high,

in defiance of the occupier’s atrocities,

while many finally flee with a sigh.

As the drama continues to unfold,

within the layers of recent history,

the territorial defenses stand bold

in the face of the assault and misery.

Echoes of past flights from death,

and narrow evasions of an untimely fate,

are interwoven with our every breath,

and surface in our own memories of late.

Our brothers and sisters who have fled

to the checkpoints, are now able to impart

a message of hope, despite all who have bled

silent tears within the confines of their heart.

Having travelled through many regions,

lives are reshaped, homes found for new arrivals,

across the boundaries of neighboring nations,

that were in flux, during past upheavals.

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Inner Grief

The eyes make no disguise

or pretense for the lies,

that fall vacant upon the ears,

that hear the explosions that sear.

As we serve to witness

the duress and stresses

of a people silently torn between

their homes and the need to flee.

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Seeking Solace

“As we step forward, they attempt to surround us; they intend to spread out across the country.” – Psalms 17:11

May the right arm of Your majesty, in all its effectiveness, assure victory for us over the challenges that we face each and every day of our lives. During this time of peril, whether starting our lives over elsewhere, or trying to remain hopeful in the midst of uncertainty, as we hunker down below the city streets, let us see the light of dawn breaking through our sorrows.

The prayers of the faithful will be sent to shomayim upon the wings of angels. We send even our most seemingly trivial concerns to Heaven; for, it is the small details of our lives, and the relatively inconsequential choices of our lives that appear to matter most at times. Once the important decisions have been made, the smaller ones appear in clear relief.

Like a picture-perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, may the realization of our dreams exceed our expectations. May our cities be rebuilt, and our lives resume, only stronger for having been through these traumatic experiences, and overall devastation that has pummeled our cities. May we live to see the day when the seeds planted across the nation will bloom into tall sunflowers, always facing the light.

Note (FYI and Disclaimer): This a dramatic monologue. A dramatic monologue gives voice to those whom the poet chooses to give expression through the poem. Although I am a poet, and not a Ukrainian, I feel an affinity with the Ukrainian people, especially my Jewish brethren. Additionally, this is also a prose poem, and not a typical poem that has verses, stanzas or rhymes.

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Hidden Remnant

The time draws near,

as opportunity knocks,

only until the door closes with a tear

for every soulful look.

Those who remain

in the basement of this shul,

will wait out the battle, constrained,

as the siege in the city fails to improve.

This congregation, now divided,

between Kharkov and Dnipro,

where several dozen from the kehillah have fled,

will survive with G-d’s berachah.

Blessings, descending from heaven,

more potent than bombs and missiles,

will sustain them until they can ascend

and mend the fissures in their lives.

Those who have already taken flight,

and reached the border’s protection,

hope to see their final destination in sight –

a foreshadowing of the final redemption.

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Plight

There is no time to dawdle,

as the wind picks up speed.

Securing a place in line for ourselves,

once we get to the border is tantamount

to reserving a place for ourselves

in the ledgers of the Book of Life.

Little one, when you place

one foot in front of the other,

know, that each step along the way

will bring you closer to safety.

For, the past will not follow you

through the checkpoint into your future.

Your brothers and sisters,

aunts and uncles, all of your cousins,

and friends are also on this journey,

upon the long and winding road

to freedom from fear, harm, and hunger.

All that is required of you,

amidst the explosions and turmoil,

the deafening sounds inside of the cities,

and the rising tides of world war

is a steadfast faith in your plight,

knowing that G-d is watching

over you, until the end.

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