In honor of Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed in Israel tomorrow (Sunday April 15th):
A small excerpt from the poem "Garden of the Dead" by a woman I am honored to call my friend - Dr. Thea Iberall
Garden of The Dead
Dedicated to the 15,000 children of Terezín, most of whom were born in Prague and died at Auschwitz-Birkenau
I. The Jewish Ghetto, Prague
I sit on Maiselova Street, time ticking backwards.
A woman clicks by on high brisk heels. A dog barks.
A weight hushes the Synagogue, dark bricks lick into place.
There is a legend that these building stones were exiled
from the Temple in Jerusalem and that someday, they will rise
borne aloft by the letters of the divine.
A song about children learning the alphabet seeps through the old cemetery,
bodies buried twelve deep.
Un der rebe lernt kleyne kinderlekh dem alef-beyz.
A headstone stutters, the letters etch unto bones:
י Yod wisdom,
ה He comprehension of all life and the unity of God,
ו Vau answers to all questions posed.
Here’s one: When Nazi jackboots echoed through the synagogue
and words replicated in the congregation’s blood,
were the letters scrambled by the tongue of pride, the stones strifed by dread,
the teachings profaned and sealed forever?
We are torches of days, trains from our countries
lost in our remembering,
we have no simple way to bridge between earth and dream.