A husband and wife huddle together under the husband's prayer shawl after his sunrise prayer at Masada, Israel.
Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

It’s the teenagers dancing, skirts waving over desert sands, electronic music, arms open to the night sky. It’s the elderly grandmother walking slowly with her grandson both unsteady on their feet. It’s the pregnant woman lifting a glass of red pomegranate juice to her tired chapped lips. It’s the way the rabbi holds the Torah as if it could save him. It’s the way the imam bows prayer on his lips. It’s the weight of a baby’s head. Whose blood is worth more? You want me to choose. To remember the ashes, the ovens, the way I was spit on in first grade. You want me to wear my Jewish star as a weapon, or to rip it from my neck. Either way.  You lose. We lose. A small country. A desert. The scent of olive and lemon trees. The ghost of Abraham lifting his knife. The sacrifice of children. You want me to be certain. To end on a good note. But I can’t. Hineni (I am here)

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Yehudit Silverman, former Department Chair, Concordia University, author of book, The Story Within – Myth and Fairy Tale in Therapy, and poetry, articles, op-eds. Award-winning documentary filmmaker.

Photo credit: Concordia University


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