Waking Dream

Bolechov Synagogue, courtesy of Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society

“If you are a dreamer, come in.”

– Invitation, by Shel Silverstein

Standing in front of the door, I mustered up the courage to knock. As I was about to do so, I heard a voice from within the building say, “If you are a dreamer, come in.” Instead of knocking, I tried the doorknob. The door was unlocked; I entered into a synagogue, furnished with pews, lamps, an ark for the Torah scroll, and a bimah in the center where the rabbi and cantor were leading a service. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had travelled to Bolekiev, Ukraine from the States, to visit the town where my ancestors had once lived. At that time, the town was Bolechov, Poland, before the end of WW2. Now, instead of finding the caretaker inside of a dilapidated building, as expected, I entered into a world that I had thought vanished a century ago.

Eldridge St. Synagogue, NYC, courtesy of Howie Schnee

Lives in Limbo

“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” – Wislawa Szymborska

The darkened hearts of some of our neighbors, who have renounced their humanity will be judged by the Almighty, while I and my brother, hiding in between these walls, will continue to cling to the Ribono Shel Olam, Who has provided this place of refuge for us. We are fortunate enough to be blessed with kind Christian neighbors, who will not permit the darkness to cloud their own sense of judgment, morality and faith. Although this bleak reality (only an appearance of a life in limbo) may cast an occasional shadow of doubt upon our own faith, I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being. And, who knows whether these very walls may have been built for this purpose, to shelter us from the tyranny of the soul that seems to have pervaded the world’s conscience.

poetry: Ariel

Ariel – a prose poem


There is a light that shines upon mankind,

an animating spirit that sustains the soul.

Guided by an unknown hand – the One,

Who lives and breathes in our midst.

A common journey, a single thread,

weaving a tapestry across time, history and nations;

this invisible force reckons the accounts of all souls,

balancing justice and judgment with compassion and mercy.

All are known to Him; no one goes unnoticed.

Each and every one of the myriad of stars

in the universe is given a name.

How much moreso is every soul on earth,

every man, woman and child

valued in the eyes of the Creator,

Who views no one as insignificant;

even the least of us is treasured,

by the One who watches over us all,

calling us home through what we perceive as our intuition,

beckoning toward us from Above,

whenever we receive an inkling of truth,

a spark of hope, or an impulse of kindness.

Despite assimilation in a world gone awry,

our lives may be rebuilt upon the ashes of the past.

Our souls may be redeemed, by He whose arms are open

to receive us into His Sanctuary.

For He is our refuge in times of darkness.

Israel cried out to Him from the smouldering ruins of the Shoah.

“Turn thou us unto thee, O L-rd, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.”

– Lamentations 5:21

Posted at Dverse Poets Open Link Night

poetry: Soul

One prayer found in his pocket,
the Shema Yisrael – encompassing
all that would be necessary to survive
the ensuing days in Auschwitz.

A blessing in disguise, only realized
after he lost his life’s work at the entrance.
Faith in G-d supplants our own designs,
and rearranges the times, according
to the penultimate design of our souls.

For He knows what is best – Our Father,
Who looks down from His vantage point
upon mankind, struggling in the mire of existence,
without hope, trying to grasp a dwindling future.
Yet, He will provide nourishment to sustain
the soul in the Darkness of Night.