Avi Weiss

A Kinnah for the 25 Anniversary of the AMIA Attack

On the morning of the 10th of Av, the Temple in Jerusalem was still burning.
Almost 2,000 years later, on that same day, the 10th of Av 5754, at 9:53 a.m., 85 people were
murdered and another 300 wounded when terrorists blew up the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. It was the deadliest attack against Jews in the Diaspora since the Shoah.

Explosion rocks the city.
The Jewish center shattered, in ruins.
A shofar blasts
and not even a still, small sound is heard.
Deafening silence.

And then the screams — the shrieks, the cries.
Bodies torn apart, strewn everywhere, blood flows.
Sirens, police, firefighters,
Israeli recovery teams combing through the rubble.
Who alive, who dead. Who by stone, who by suffocation, who by fire.

Families waiting. Where is God? a boy wails.
His sister, Cynthia Veronica, found among the dead.
Another boy, not yet bar mitzvah,
clasps his brother, his parents.
Their sister, daughter, Yanina, named among the dead.

A woman lay in hospital
in stunned silence.
Her 5-year-old son, Sebastian,
struck by a fragment on their morning walk, dead.

In a tent near the devastation, a family sits seven days,
waiting for Susy — mother, wife.
Finally, the news.
Now home,
for seven days they sit again.

Twenty-five years later, families doubly betrayed:
The violence of murdered loved ones,
the violence of justice not done.
No terrorists apprehended, not one.

For 25 years,
coverups, obstructions, an honest prosecutor assassinated.
“Justice!” the still boiling blood of the murdered Zecharya demands.
Yet there is no justice.

From the ground, the blood seeps still.
The cries remain unstilled.
“O Earth, do not cover my blood,
and let there be no resting place for my cry,” Job implores.

Undying love will defeat undying hate,
and overpower death.
Twenty-five years later, the bereaved love,
marry, create families.
They serve Am Yisrael and all people —
this is our path too.
But they do not forget, and we do not forget.

“The voice of your brother’s bloods cry out to Me!” says the Lord.
All of the bloods
of all our brothers
and all of our sisters.
They cry out for justice,
they will not be stilled,
they will be heard.

To view the Hebrew and English side by side, please click here.

This Kinnah was composed by Rabbi Avi Weiss, translated into Hebrew by Prof. Avigdor Shinan and vocalized by Araleh Admanit. Rav Avi wishes to thank Rabbi Ezra Seligsohn and others for their input and encouragement.

About the Author
Avi Weiss is the founding rabbi of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, Bronx, N.Y., and founder of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah and Yeshivat Maharat rabbinical schools. He is a co-founder of the International Rabbinic Fellowship and longtime Jewish activist for Israel and human rights.
Related Topics
Related Posts