Sunday, April 28, 2013

Coming Back

She stands in shul on Shabbos
for the first time in years
facing the open ark
doors spread wide
like angels wings
The people and the room
slowly disappear
all that remain are the ark and the
the ark and praying voices

...She is a little girl standing in her
grandfather’s yeshiva
watching from the doorway of the
women’s section
because she isn’t allowed in
the people and the yeshiva slowly
all that remain are the ark
and voices
the ark and
screaming voices.

The Torah watches in horror
the Torah hears in sorrow
the little girls silent protest
as her grandfather
the rosh yeshiva
takes her into
the bathroom and undresses
as the buchrim
sneak her upstairs and
tear her soul to pieces
The Torah sees it all.

Then the yeshiva is ripped down
nothing remains but a mound of
crushed wood
and piles of torn holy books
cascading down broken stairs.
the Torah is shipped away.
her memories buried in its parchment...

...This week in shul again miles and years away
she sees the Torah and remembers
what it witnessed
she is so very angry
why did you stand by and watch what was done to me?
why didn't you help me?
the Torah answers
I’ve been waiting for you,
It was I –
the same Torah who
lives in this shul today.
I was there in that yeshiva
from the time you were born
and I saw it all
I bear witness.
Wrap yourself in me and I’ll hold you.


  1. Genendy,
    You are a voice for so many who cannot yet speak for themselves. You are an inspiration. Keep writing, keep speaking.


  2. Gannendy,

    I"m in shock. I went to the first Magen evening in Beit Shemesh nearly two years ago and i remember the story that was read out, I remember it so clearly. The details are etched in my brain, i will never forget what i heard that night. The tears that fell down my face. The silence in the room. The searing and stinging words of a little girl, so lost and so in pain. And now i learn that It was your story. I remember the artwork, so clearly. It cut me like a knife, the art. It was so raw, so full of pain. Just in your art alone you tell a million painful stories. I remember leaving, feeling sick, to my stomach that any girl in the world has to go through that. And to think, i knew her. It was YOU. I honestly, don't know what to say. Words don't do any justice. For your pain. For anybody's pain. We all live in painful worlds but there are few that get up and get on. You are tremendous.

    That poem you wrote on your blog, latest entry, it sent shivers through my spine. You are right. How does the Torah stand by and watch the horrors that befall our innocent children. Your belief in Hashem is inspiring truly.

    Thank you for sharing your life, your words, your depth, your wisdom...

    May your work with kids heal all the pain you have been through...surely but slowly. Effectively and purposefully.


    Claire Freeman

  3. Please keep writing, keep speaking. For those who cannot.

  4. I ask that question about so many things in life?