Home Religion What Gets Me – a new poem for Tisha b'Av

What Gets Me – a new poem for Tisha b'Av


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Babylon, Rome, and the first Crusade: not just a litany of destruction.
Forcibly evicted from England, France, and Spain
How on this date in 1941 the Nazi Party approved
The gas chambers and mass graves of “The Final Solution” are both examples.

You may have heard the old claim, “We make matzah from their blood.”
Or the cartoons which show us as greedy and hook nosed.
Money-grubbing and conspiring to defile the world
We insist that we are worthy of existence.

It is the persistence of these hatreds that I find disturbing.
Every antisemitic flyer or QAnon meme.
In every synagogue shooting.
The uneasy feeling that we could be the next.

And still somehow we’re meant to look inside, to do the work,
We must seek justice for those in worse situations than ourselves.
To make things right with those we’ve harmed,
And if we must, to die like our ancestors  –

– with the Sh’ma on our lips.

R. Rachel Barenblat

It’s nearly Tisha b’Av. This is my new piece for Tisha b’Av. Please feel free to share and use this piece if it resonates with you.

After visiting Israel in spring, I wrote this. No, I am not writing about the current situation in Israel today. This is not the post. The reminder of the many people who have tried to destroy us was a profoundly moving experience for me.

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