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I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Night of Fire and Glass - for Kristalnacht

Eighty years ago, the Nazis marched through the streets of Germany and Austria, attacking Jews, smashing windows of Jewish-owned stores, destroying synagogues, ransacking homes and hospitals, burning books and Torahs.  For two days, Jews were terrorized, beaten and arrested and sent to concentration camps while the government looked on.  When it was over, 91 people had been murdered, 30,000 had been arrested and sent to camps, more than 1000 synagogues had been burned and more than 7,000 Jewish businesses had been destroyed.  After two days of rioting, the Jewish community was fined $1 billion reichsmarks.

How can we possibly speak of such unspeakable horrors, of such hatred and violence and inhumanity, that happened so long ago?  How can we possibly find the words?

How can we not?

Two weeks ago, on Saturday morning near the end of October, 11 Jews went to synagogue to pray, to come together as a community, to celebrate Shabbat. They were murdered, gunned down by a man who would have been very much at home during the horrors of Kristalnacht.

We find the words because we must., Because even eighty years later - eighty - the rage and hatred rise up and burn down everything in it's path. We find the words, we tell the story, and we remember.

We do, because this must never happen again, to anyone, to any people, in any land.  We find the words, and so we say: amen

Words for Kristalnacht
09-10 November 1938

Stars littered the ground
Crystal fire
Shards of ice

The smoke of a thousand thousand years
Coiling upwards, twisted
With the memory of a People
Chosen once in light
Chosen again
In darkness
In ashes and in blood

Pounding rhythms shout out
Felt through their soles 
Driving forward, driving onward
Faster and faster and faster, and pulled forward
Pulled ever onward
In a rush, at a run, rippling in shadow
It invades your blood,
That rhythm,
That pulse,
That pull and push
That wraps ‘round your heart
In pounding and pulsing rhythms
That cradle your source
Your soul

The darkness swallows the cries
Of a thousand thousand lights
A thousand thousand years
A thousand thousand sighs
Of love
Of hope
Of God

Leaving only broken glass
And crystal fire
And glistening stars to lead us

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