If a word is worth a coin,

Silence is worth two.

When tragedy strikes,

Especially true.


Aharon’s silence

When losing his sons

May have seemed stoic;

But at the height of his grief,

It was heroic.


Moshe said, “My brother,

I was told at Sinai

By G-d, that He would sanctify

His House, through one great,

That is why

I thought it would’ve been

You or I.

Nadav and Avihu’s fire

Was pure and zealous,

It consumed them;

For they were greater than us!

Aharon seeing it G-d’s will,

His sons were gone,

Stilled his weeping

To inaugurate

Hashem’s Mishkan.


Moshe asked Hashem,

In the Agadah,

To see the reward

Of Rabbi Akiva.

He saw Akiva,

Whose brilliance

Still lights the study halls.

His flesh weighed out

In the market place stalls.

Moshe cried, “Such Torah!

“Such reward!”

He is silenced,

It is decreed by the L-rd.


“VaYidom,” “was silent,”

Is said once more.

When Yehoshua

Leads Israel in war.

He commands:

“Sun, halt in Giv’on,

And moon in the Valley

Of Ayalon!”

Just as the sun stops

To give Hashem praise,

It suspended its mission,

Halted its ways.

Showing Israel’s victory

Was by G-d’s will.

The sun was silent,

That day it stood still.


The greatest king, David,

Silenced his soul.

Through his life’s highs and lows,

Equanimity his goal.


Tzadikim, and all people,

Endure trouble and strife.

Axiomatic, our frailty,

Transitory, our life.


In silence we transform

Our suffering

Into affirmation of time.


Speech signifies

Our power to be silent,

Which brings special closeness

With the infinite.

Like Aharon and David,

May we learn to be still.

Learn the power of silence,

The verdict, G-d’s will.

May HaKadosh Baruch Hu

Strengthen us,

For in Him, is no wrong.

May He bring us from silence

To times of glad song.

By Sharon Marcus