Savta

Matan Shlomo Har and Rabbi Ori Har

At Sunday night’s deeply moving Holocaust memorial service, “From Darkness to Meaning and Joy,” elder survivors as well as multi-generational families participated and shared personal accounts. One special highlight was the following poem written and read by Matan Har about his grandmother who lived her final years in Israel. Perhaps next year, a program can be presented especially for youth. They are after all the link between the past and future.

— Morah Yehudis Fishman

Savta

By Matan Shlomo Har

“I just don’t trust people
Life has taught me you can’t”
Her heavy Hungarian accent weighs her Hebrew down
She tells me this is not meant to jade me
But to protect me
From the enemy
Mankind
Ashen Jerusalem stone juts out
From the road to create a barrier
Cars can’t come onto Tzion square
Where Yeshiva boys sell the type of drugs
That will temporarily protect them from their guilt
Their façade of a Kippah protecting them from nothing
Except the crisp Jerusalem breeze
Their own pasts humbling enough in the eyes of G-d
Her every step slow, premeditated
Checked and re-checked before attempted
My heart heavy with wonder and guilt
At how this woman with her delicate limp
Her sunken eyes
Her awkward mitts where she used to have hands
Has survived mankind this long
As we pass by the Sbarro across Jaffa St.
She tells me
“Fifteen of us were blown up there”
And I remember reading about little Avraham
And little Hemda
Who were there to eat pizza with their parents
I’m thinking as I walk by
The gray Jerusalem sky seemingly close enough to touch
What would protect me?
And before we cross the street she puts her arm around me
The one with the number tattooed up her forearm
Attempting to shelter me from the cold.

About Matan Har

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