Ayala Wolff
Ayala Wolff

A prayer for a burning city

Israeli border police patrol the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod after last weeks riots. May 19, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90
Israeli border police patrol the streets of the central Israeli city of Lod after last weeks riots. May 19, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90

Lod is burning…

It is here I chose to make my home for the year

Not a simple place to call home

Complex and beautiful

Imbued with compassion and kindness

They say that light is discovered amongst darkness

In the streets of Lod, wretchedness mingles with great goodness

The people I meet are so gentle

With hands that seem to be magically crafted

To soften the sharpness of others

Over the past week Lod is burning

The Torah that I came to learn remains in that place

Between the holy books and synagogues that have been reduced to embers.

There are not enough to defend these sites

for not everyone cares enough.

I know Lod

I am familiar with the city’s pain

The chasm between cultures

The rare frictions.

This week’s Lod is not the city I recognize

Nor can anyone else recognize her.

Yet, amidst the riots and the darkness

The city I know shines through

I still see warm embraces

Unity

True love

And empathy

Caring for another, protection from all distress.

“Yehiye B’seder”,

It will be ok

When all this calms down

Slowly, we will emerge

With a firm and comforting hand

We will heal the wounds.

Lod is the optimal place for women’s Torah learning

Though the city does not appear that way at first glance.

She will not be defiled with blood

She will rise and she will heal.

Step by step she will learn again to walk

To repave the path of co-existence,

I know that she will recover.

But for now

All we can do is pray… and pray…and pray

About the Author
Ayala Wolff is a student in Midreshet Lindenbaum-Lod, part of the Ohr Torah Stone educational network.
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