A Lamentation for Gaza

By Rabbi Brant Rosen (1st August 2014)


Gaza weeps alone.

Bombs falling without end

her cheeks wet with tears.

A widow abandoned imprisoned on all sides

with none willing to save her.


We who once knew oppression

have become the oppressors.

Those who have been pursued

are now the pursuers.

We have uprooted families from their homes,

we have driven them deep

into this desolate place,

this narrow strip of exile.


All along the roads there is mourning.

The teeming marketplaces

have been bombed into emptiness.

The only sounds we hear

are cries of pain

sirens blaring, drones buzzing

bitterness echoing into the black vacuum

of homes destroyed

and dreams denied.


We have become Gaza’s master

levelling neighborhoods

with the mere touch of a button

for her transgression of resistance.

Her children are born into captivity

they know us only as occupiers

enemies to be feared and hated.


We have lost all

that once was precious to us.

This fatal attachment to our own might

has become our downfall.

This idolatrous veneration of the land

has sent us wandering into

a wilderness of our own making.


We have robbed Gaza of

her deepest dignity

plunged her into sorrow and darkness.

Her people crowd into refugee camps held captive by fences and buffer zones

gunboats, mortar rounds

and Apache missiles.


We sing of Jerusalem,

to “a free people in their own land”

but our song has become a mockery.

How can we sing a song of freedom

imprisoned inside behind walls we have built

with our own fear and dread?


Here we sit clinging to our illusions

of comfort and security

while we unleash hell on earth

on the other side of the border.

We sit on hillsides and cheer

as our explosions light up the sky

while far below, whole neighborhoods

are reduced to rubble.


For these things I weep:

for the toxic fear we have unleashed

from the dark place of our hearts

for the endless grief

we are inflicting

on the people of Gaza.


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