Appendix 2: Poems
Written in the same Yiddish handwriting and translated
Sand and Stars
The moon is shining and the stars are scintillating
The night clothes the mountains and valleys
The old little book
Is lying open before me
I read and read
I read it a thousand times
I read the clear holy words
I swear I can hear a voice
My people – you shall be like the stars in heaven
As the sand at the edge of the sea
Lord of the Universe – nothing gets lost
Not a simple word of your promise
Your Holy wish must be fulfilled.
Everything comes in its proper time and place
One thing has already materialised
I feel it, I know it for sure
We have become as sand, free for all
E very body is trampling it underfoot –
Yes God, it is true –
We are spread out like sand and like stars
And dispersed – to be humiliated and laughed at.
The stars are clearly alight
The stars, where are they God?
RETURN TO ZION
What do I see through the window?
They fly like doves!
My Joseph and my Benjamin
Are knocking at my door.
Oh God, this is wonderful,
I see again my children,
My dearest and most precious are returning to me,
Many years have passed
I thought I was lost
A deserted widow, alone at her table
How did you get on?
Since you were captured?
How is Yehuda and Ephraim?
Give me a greeting.
Don't complain to God.
It is all a divine wonder.
The darkness grows deeper before dawn.
At the first sign of redemption
It was a worthwhile achievement
The burden becomes heavier as Moses is complaining,
If God is harsh it is to our benefit
Nobody is forcing to build your centre
The prophets would not chase you.
If you want to remain in your Bund and Nationalists –
You can surely remain there.
Our enemies are laughing.
How does it look? if a few little Jews are treading in my fall
Can they be trusted:
Are they going to build, my new dwelling as it was once.
No, you must compare it to the big rivers –
Which start as a tiny stream,
From a small source.
All the streams come together,
Until its name becomes great.
And her masts and boughs are shining –
All those years are returning. I’m young again.
I discard my sadness,
I dress again in my silken garments –
As they are worthy of my house.
My heart is uplifted
My children are returning in happiness
I cry with joy.
Let me kiss you
My bones are calling out,
You, the guests of my heart,
You will receive from me all the pleasures
You won’t have to eat at foreign tables
You will board with your mother
These few people the world will bless
They have left their homes and property
As well educated people, highly civilised
Are prepared to sacrifice themselves for all Israel
They are determined to survive all hardships and difficulties
To clean away all the stones
On the road of our great troubles
As in the days of Moses
And their name remains as Ezra’s in the last days