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

Promise

1 Nissan 5781

Running, the tempest behind me,

still present in my thoughts and dreams;

yet, somewhere on the horizon, I can see

in the distance, there is a place serene.

Joyous within myself, outwardly smiling,

my emotions never surface enough to be visible;

perhaps, a trait from my ancestors upbringing,

learned men of books, studying in the shtetl.

My father comprehends the silence,

that his view from heaven always reveals;

although, amidst my own earthly burdens,

much for me still remains concealed.

Yehi ratzon, I will be consoled at last

by the promise of the Final Redemption;

each year that closes the gaps of the past,

brings us closer to our future reunion.

Linear time and eternity merge,

as hours pass into days and years;

in a single glimpse, moments converge,

carrying the weight of golden tears.

The Beis HaMikdash looms visible,

in the inner sanctum of the soul;

a place of solace, clearly recognizable

by the light of the Shepherd’s fold.

In Heaven’s Time

A tearful reunion, when my memories drift,

bittersweet moments, resurrected by the sound

of melancholy chords that compel me to reminisce.

A “whisper” from Above, when I viewed the painting,

encapsulated by a sense of silence that surrounds

Yoseph’s deathbed – Yeshua and Miriam at his side.

The night before you passed, a sense of urgency

brought me to my knees, for half an hour in prayer;

(past efforts only ever amounted to a few minutes).

My only explanation, I was sustained by the Ruach,

to endure for the sake of a parting gift to your soul,

that you would be gently lifted up to Shomayim.