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Jerusalem,

When I think of you

In your past days of glory,

My heart breaks in two.      

 

The galus is not so bad here,

We’re living the dream;

Life flows in profusion

Till Bein HaM’tzarim.

 

Then events seem capricious,

We stumble and grope;

Days grind and are troubled,

It’s a struggle to cope.

We grasp for the surety –

People, places we love;

Then the ticking clock stops

At another Tish’ah B’Av.

Once again, we are beggars

Covered in ashes;

Downcast, cursed by

Each nation that passes.

“Hey, orphan; hey, stray dog,

Hey red-haired stepchild!

Down in the dirt with us,

Rejected, reviled.”

“Your Father is gone now,

Wandering Jew;

You’re dead weight on our conscience

For our crimes against you;

Only asked you to blend in,

But you stood out alone;

Though we offered salvation:

gods of wood, gods of stone.”

 

When our sins overtook us,

Edom despoiled our Nation;

Titus crowed “Judaea capta”

Broken, forsaken.

 

But unlike this world’s empires,

Which end up as dust;

Hashem’s Promise is eternal:

Light will shine for the just.

 

So, we bare retribution,

Mourn in hunger and thirst,

As one people, in prayer,

Though worldwide, dispersed.

 

We all turn towards that one wall

That withstood all conquest;

May our faith, like that wall,

Withstand every test.

 

May G-d soon redeem us,

Raise us up, exonerate,

Making Tish’ah B’Av

A chag to celebrate!

By Sharon Marcus