Israeli soldier on a kibbutz, created by starryai.com

October Lamentation

by Dr. David Sanders

For these things do I weep,
My eyes, my eyes, flow with tears
Far from me is any comforter
Who might revive my spirit
My children are forlorn,
For the foe has prevailed.

 

This lamentation I have read privately and publicly so many times to the haunting tune of the ancient book called: How? How could this happen? How did this happen?

 

As a relief from my heartache, my tears, my disbelief, my helplessness, my rage, are the stories of heroism; a young woman named Inbal who rallied her Kibbutz’s make-shift security forces to thwart and kill an incoming horde of terrorists, a grandfather named Noam who got in his car in Tel Aviv and drove hours to the southern border determined to save his son and grandchildren and my cousin Yair Yonah, severely wounded, grabbing his gun to kill terrorists who entered his family home. Each summoned extraordinary bravery and each helped many others to survive.

 

For these things do I weep,
My eyes, my eyes, flow with tears
Far from me is any comforter
Who might revive my spirit
My children are forlorn,
For the foe has prevailed.

 

My nephews, each one called up for a different mission, collecting their gear, saying goodbye to parents, wives, children. What will come of the next days, what ghastly encounters and harrowing decisions lie ahead for them. They are only three of 300,000 heading to the front lines or behind enemy lines. They are preparing for the worst. My brother asked his son: “Do you have your battle knife? Let me sharpen it for you.”

 

For these things do I weep,
My eyes, my eyes, flow with tears
Far from me is any comforter
Who might revive my spirit
My children are forlorn,
For the foe has prevailed.

 

“Brutalized people do brutal things sometimes?” These words spoken by a Jewish leader? Let me be brutally honest. One’s heart can open to and care for all who suffer but how can anyone be so tone deaf and callous as to excuse the most heinous, deliberate atrocities. There is a tipping point. A sharpened blade that cuts both ways. An ache and despair whose hum deepens and whose scar will never heal.

 

How? How could life go on? And yet life goes on.

 

 

 

 

5 Comments

Risa · October 12, 2023 at 2:20 pm

Thank you for this, David. I will keep your nephews and their families in my prayers.

Joan Lange · October 12, 2023 at 3:33 pm

I will pray for your family, dear David. And I shall surround and fill myself in the beauty, love and wisdom of Judaism and of Kabbalah that you all have shared with us…and send it our into the universe. So grateful for the peace you have instilled in us. It will comfort me always as we proceed through the coming days.To LIFE.

Karen Frankel · October 12, 2023 at 11:10 pm

David, thank you for sharing this beautiful, haunting , and inspiring piece- I pray every day for our many friends that are in Israel, I pray for your family, I send love to you , I look for answers “how, why” where is G-d? I’m praying for peace ☮️ on 🌍earth -,who am I praying to I ask myself, I hope G-d is listening, I’m grateful that my family and friends are safe- 🙏

Elizabeth Wilde · October 13, 2023 at 11:39 pm

Thank you for your words. I will pray for the safety of your family. May God be present in all of us as we try to understand and act.

Nancy · October 14, 2023 at 3:45 pm

Thank you for this moving meditation. I have read it several times, and the stark reality of your words strike me deeply.
“Lamentation” is not a word I have ever used, but it is fitting now. I lament the horrendous choices that parents, grandparents, friends and children have to make. Kill or be killed. I lament the echos of the Holocaust and all the years of pogroms.
There is no sense in taking about sides. Everyone will suffer, destruction falls everywhere.

Lament, for the suffering, the death, the destruction.

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