Written for Michal Salomon, the wife of Elad Salomon, who was murdered, along with his father and sister, in the terror attack in Neve Tzuf (Halamish) on Friday night, July 21. Michal and Elad and their five children were spending Shabbat in Neve Tzuf with Elad’s parents, who were celebrating the birth of a new grandson with family and friends.
By Vera Schwarcz
You, my dear, a widow like the holy city
in Jeremiah, in need of comforting,
During last night’s long, heavy-hearted
sleeplessness I came to visit you:
In my mind’s eye, your five children
huddled mattress upon
mattress on the floor.
You, now, the only safety
they know after the bloody murder
of their father, aunt and grandfather.
You who barred the door to terror,
let me in. I found a small place
near your youngest and curled up
alongside, held her, and she bent
softly into me. The least able
to fathom the horror, offered
the strongest hope, a gentle
balm for aches less raw
than hers and yours—
At dawn, saying Shema
I understood bone deep:
Not only is G-d one,
we, too, one aching,
Vera Schwarcz is a China historian and poet, currently in Yerushalaim preparing for aliya in January 2018.
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