Gershon Hepner

Happy Ending to the Ninth of Av

Arguing the pros and cons

of regulations God prescribes,

identifying as black swans

false prophets, foolish priests and scribes,


tête-à-tête in disputation

tarnishing the Temple’s luster,

did not foresee the conflagration,

noir villains in this sad blockbuster,


rescreened each year on Ninth of Av,

like “Ten Commandments” on Passover,

directed by Whose Name’s above

pronouncing, I’ll thus here pass over,


twice witnessed on this day by Jews

who had ignored most serious omens,

and twice would tragically refuse,

like Caesar, noblest of the Romans.  


There’s a minor feature later,

“The Fifteenth” after “Ninth of Av,”

celebrating what is greater,

making war no more, but love,


providing for the fast an ending

that’s happy, as in La-La-Holly-

wood, all Jewish people mending

what had been sad, but now turns jolly.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at