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  • Writer's picturestephen schecter

Yom Hazikaron

Yom Hazikaron, 2015

So many fallen soldiers

Like so much broken glass

Steep the land in sorrow

And make the heavens brass.

Is this the reason why

We turned our trek to home,

From the loveless desert

Redeemed the altar stone?

To let the liars loose

And stone us at their ease,

Ban us from our temple

And murder when they please?

In this what God enjoined

Millennia ago

When He passed us over

But did not spare Pharaoh?

He led us to Sinai,

There gave us our Torah

And told us in the land

We had to build the law,

Equal weights and measures

For all who dwell therein

But no rights for the gods

Of those who live in sin.

We did not listen then

And do not listen now

And so with our neighbours

Endure an endless row.

We beg to share the land,

They only want it all,

They the sons of Moloch

Who dance when others fall.

They feed their children hate

While we raise ours on peace

But send them off to war,

The nephew like the niece.

Some lose their lives in battle,

Some lose their lives in streets,

Victims of those Arabs

Who hand out death like sweets,

Then take us to the court

Where world opinion stands

And listens to their lies

Like music from brass bands.

But really it’s our fault

For not telling the truth

The land is really ours

Naomi heard from Ruth,

This land of Zion’s call,

Jerusalem as well,

Ask Naomi Shemer

Whose songs that truth do tell.

Each year we sing those songs,

Recite the Yizkor too,

Pay the dead and fallen

What rightly is their due.

We watch the numbers climb,

Vow it is not in vain,

But I no longer buy

What cleaves my heart in twain.

I say the time has come

To rid the land of blight,

Cleanse the land of idols

And end the endless night.

Those who kill the children,

Their own as well as ours,

Have forfeited all right

To take in the flowers.

Like Cain may they wander

And think upon their sins

And in two thousand years

Tote up their score of wins.

Then next year when I come

To bless the fallen dead

My tears shall freely flow,

My pride to grief will wed.

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