Sharona Margolin Halickman

In Memory of Haim Gouri

The Israeli Poet, Haim Gouri passed away today at the age of 94. He wrote the following poem called Yerusha, Heritage based on the themes from Akedat Yitzchak (The binding of Isaac):

The ram came last of all

And Avraham didn’t know that it came

to answer the boy’s question

Here are the fire and the wood but where is the young beast for the sacrifice)

First of his strength when his day was on the wane

The old man raised his head Seeing that it was no dream

and that the angel stood there

The knife slipped from his hand The boy, released from his bonds
saw his father’s back

Yitzchak, as the story goes, was not sacrificed,

He lived for many years

Saw what pleasure had to offer until his eyesight dimmed
But he bequeathed that hour to his offspring

They are born with a knife in their hearts

Haim Gouri is trying to teach us that we are all scarred from what almost happened at Akedat Yitzchak.

In each generation, the Jewish people are faced with challenges that we must overcome. If we keep in mind that Avraham was able to overcome 10 extremely difficult tests (nisyonot) — the last one being the near sacrifice of his beloved son — then we can gain the strength to realize that we can stand up to and overcome any of the challenges that we may encounter.

May his memory be a blessing.

About the Author
Sharona holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Stern College and an MS in Jewish Education from Azrieli Graduate School, Yeshiva University. Sharona was the first Congregational Intern and Madricha Ruchanit at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, NY. After making aliya in 2004, Sharona founded Torat Reva Yerushalayim, a non profit organization based in Jerusalem which provides Torah study groups for students of all ages and backgrounds.
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