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Lech Lecha – A Poem for This Moment

Who could not read this week’s Torah portion and not feel an incredible sense of  pertinence? Its text could almost be overlaid with today’s discourse as one might do so with the overhead projector’s  transparencies of yesteryear.

“Go from your land”
To a land where children will be snatched away from their parents?
“And I will make of you a great nation”
Despised and hated. Proud and fierce.
“To a land that I will show you”
Where vicious people will terrorize dancing, singing, peace-seeking young people…!
“I will give this land to your children”
They will build it, they will love it, they will give their lives for it over and over again…
“Walk about the land”
See the hundreds of soldiers, the mourning of mothers and fathers, the prayers of young and old.
“Abram heard his kin was taken captive”
The world sees & knows of our captives.
“Fear not Abram, I am a shield to Abram.”
We will hold fast to the promise.
Amen.

About the Author
Rivy Poupko Kletenik, a 2002 Exceptional Jewish Educator Covenant Award Winner, just completed sixteen years as Head of School at the Seattle Hebrew Academy. Rivy is an enthusiastic writer and devotee of poetry and literature. Her column “What’s Your JQ” appeared for years in the JT News and then “Jewish in Seattle Magazine” and she is thrilled and proud to be awarded the Simon Rockower American Jewish Press Association Excellence in Commentary.
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