These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[PEP Student] Poland Trip: Cheryl’s Poem

Posted on February 11, 2010 by The Director of Digital Media

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A poem inspired by the 2010 Pardes Poland trip by Cheryl Stone:

Breathe deeply my dear
We have long since been forgotten
They will not remember
The guard tower watches over us
The city pulses nearby
But we are already dead
The light brushing of blue
  on the walls
  on the ceiling
small, crisp, cool sky
Visions of poppies, peonies, lilies
  springs first blooms
The chimney looms over our last home
Ashes burn the sky
Why the charade? 
Why the antechamber to hell?
Are their hearts too soft?
Can they not just throw us into the pits?
Yes, their hearts are the Devil.
They do not do the work themselves
Our fathers, our brothers do the work for them
Breathe deeply my dear
One last breath
So glorious it was to live
Why did they not tell us?
Why did we not know
  that every moment
    could be
       would be
          the last
Were the words buried in those ancient texts
  that only only old men understand?
And here we stand
before our sisters
before evil
before God
  It was a miracle

Pardes trips to Poland are run in partnership with Heritage Seminars. The Claims Conference has provided trip scholarships for qualifying Pardes participants, as well as subsidies for program components directed at Jewish educators.