|Jerusalem Sliman Monsour
|Isaac Frenkel Frenel
|Haunted - Unknown artist
|I and the Village - Marc Chagal
A Stuttgart policeman—not a Jew—was the first miracle. He warned my family that we were under suspicion because my sister had a communist boyfriend. He told my mother to flush the left-wing pamphlets down the toilet and flee the country immediately. Word got to me in Heidelberg and I—again a miracle—was able to complete my dissertation in six weeks and—another miracle—cross the border to Holland at dusk, while the guards were looking the other way. And wasn’t it a miracle that my dissertation was about a Flemish Renaissance composer, Orlando di Lasso, who was of great interest to Princess Juliana of Holland whom I happened to meet on the street one day, which led to my becoming the royal piano teacher, which led to my becoming the piano teacher for the Hoffman family, which led to my marrying the youngest daughter—your mother—just before the Anschluss, when Hitler annexed Austria in 1938. We knew Holland would soon be invaded.The Promised Land was calling all Jews to get out of Europe. My father-in-law saw it clearly—no place in Europe was safe for the Jews. He was a miracle maker who had the means and the intelligence to figure out how to get people out. He helped to get three of my sisters passage to British controlled Palestine years before it became Israel. What a miracle that they found refuge and community, that they were able to marry and raise families in the Jewish homeland. Your Opa would not have thought it a miracle that he helped my sisters emigrate, or that he found passage out of Holland for his family and new son-in-law. He was a practical and ethical man who would consider it the only thing to do under the circumstances.
I reviewed Arab history
found no dream to borrow…
the tortured homeland infiltrated me
Siham Da’oud The Poetry of Arab Women p. 92
|Olive Harvest in Palestine - Maher Naji
Always there is hope
always one is born to pay off
an old debt…
—Anat Zecharia A Winding Line p.145
|Zvi Adler - Judean Hills
|To Where? - Ismail Shammout
|The Spring that Was - Ismail Shammout
The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity to a captive civilian population (in Gaza) threatens not only to worsen a growing humanitarian crisis, it could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies, and undermine long–term efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region.
|Moses with the Ten Commandments - Rembrandt
Israel is facing the greatest threat in its 75 year history…We are literally fighting for our survival, not just as a democracy but as a homeland for the entire Jewish people. The ground is burning beneath our feet…The Judicial Coup is not an internal Israeli matter…This is about shaping the future and the story of the Jewish people. Israel is the glue that kept us together for millennia, our homeland is a safe haven for a people without a home.
|The Ghosts - Miki de Goodaboom
|The Camel Carrier of Hardships
The God of biblical faith…is not a God of the cosmos alone, but also a God of history. A good many psalms…are responses to the most urgent pressures of the historical moment. (p. 121)
|Perseverance and Hope - Sliman Mansour
Shock, pain, rage—an all-consuming rage. I understand, and many Americans understandYou can’t look at what has happened here to your mothers, your fathers, your grandparents, sons, daughters, children—even babies—and not scream out for justice. Justice must be done.
But I caution this: While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it.The vast majority of Palestinians are not Hamas. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people.
To those who are living in limbo waiting desperately to learn the fate of loved ones, especially to families of the hostages: You’re not alone …To those who are grieving a child, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, I know you feel like there’s that black hole in the middle of your chest. You feel like you’re being sucked into it.The survivor’s remorse, the anger, the questions of faith in your soul.Starting at—staring at that empty chair, sitting shiva. The first Sabbath without them…For those who have lost loved ones, this is what I know: They’ll never be truly gone. There’s something that’s never fully lost: your love for them and their love for you…
|Jaffa (A Palestinian City before 1948)
Juhaina Habibi Kandalaft
At the end, after all of the dead Israelis and Palestinians are buried, after we have finished washing away the rivers of blood, the people who share a home in this land will have to understand that there is no other choice but to follow the path of peace. That is where true victory lies.
|Unnamed - Ahlam Al Faqih
Descend upon me you who are source
before source fire in the sky gleam
in the back of my skull Come in the wind
with wings Come in my breath I cling
to the luminous stair Sing me your names
spirit void darkening sea world
tree When thunder speaks come into my heart
where terrible stories are told
whose womb has cast pieces of flesh all over the streets
of Jerusalem that son of your prophet whose light
splintered into thousands of dangerous
I gather it all for the altar
the blood the rage the weeping
Show me your face
in the fire
(forthcoming in Your Face in the Fire)
Alter, R. trans. 2007. The Book of Psalms. W.W. Norton.
_________, 2021, Death and His Lorca. Blue Light Press.
__________, (forthcoming) Your Face in the Fire.