Barukh Hyman Hidvegi
Barukh Hyman Hidvegi

Someone who simply dropped out of the sky

Dorit is asking me
to tell the story
of these two photos

both of them were taken the day
three years ago
when Barukh and his family
moved out of Elifaz
the desert kibbutz

from their first home in Israel

from their first home in Israel…

the first photo was taken
in the morning


the second was taken
late afternoon
in the last moments before leaving…


who is Dorit?

Dorit is a friend

from Mevaseret Zion
the edge of Jerusalem

sweet little almighty sent her
to Barukh’s family
two years ago

she helped
when Barukh’s family
tried to take off
from the desert

she helped them
land
in Jerusalem

Dorit teaches at the university
and before spring term started
she went down
to the arava desert
with Nathan
her husband

to recharge their batteries

and they stayed in Elifaz
what are the odds?

Dorit from Mevaseret
in Elifaz down the Arava

in Barukh’s head
these are two separate worlds

separate lives

desert life
is different
from the life in Jerusalem

different
from the life in Budapest

different from all else

new life…

they used to have a home
in the desert…

down there
in that house
in these pictures
Barukh and his family
started a new life
five years ago

their arrival
was like
a rebirth

it is baffling
to hear from Dorit
the name
Elifaz
because Barukh there
was a different person
from the one Dorit met here

down there
Barukh was like a newborn

someone
who simply dropped out of the sky

it had been smothering him
that other place
Hungary
already suffocating him
crushing his chest

it was crushing him so hard
that if he had stayed in it
any longer
the place
would have killed Barukh

he was a newborn in Elifaz

exposed
to the weather
to the people
to the animals
and to his own self

totally
completely
defenseless

he jumped out
of Hungary
the mother’s womb
and yanked with him
his family
before
that mother’s womb
could have suffocated them all

he jumped with his eyes closed
and when he touched ground
in the desert
he could only cry

shout
and cry

he thought
he was talking

that he was saying things

but it wasn’t speech

neither in Hebrew
nor in Hungarian

Barukh was lying naked
in blood and mucus
among the rocks

clenched his eyes shut
and cried

Dorit wouldn’t even recognize him
if she saw the newborn Barukh today

that Barukh
who only heard
the sounds of that new world
through his own crying…

this is the story of those two photos

Barukh’s family
spent there a year and a half
after rebirth
in that house

it wasn’t good
or bad

it was life

air

exhilarating
dry
hot
thick
heavy
air…

then they had to leave
because new people arrived

new newborns

they moved out
on the twentieth of September
in two-thousand eighteen

Barukh got up early in the morning
took a last photo
of the house
the Jordanian mountains
and the rising sun

he knew
that life was going on
but he couldn’t picture
that in the evening
he would be going to bed
in a different house
and in the morning after
he would be waking up
in a different bed

Barukh got up early in the morning
and spent the day packing
with Judit
fred
L
and ellen

and when
Barukh and Fred
put all their stuff
in udi’s truck
Barukh asked Fred
to take a last photo of him
in Elifaz

with the truck
the mountains
and the setting sun…

this is the story of these two photos

I can’t say any more

About the Author
two years after his aliya barukh started to write and publish poems on his facebook page. he writes about his new life in israel and his old life in hungary, his adhd and asd, his synagogue and sweet little almighty, war and coexistence in israel, europe and the middle east. hundreds of his poems are available in hungarian, and in a weekly increasing number also in english. “self-appointed poet” (“önjelölt költő”), his first book of poems was published in budapest in 2021. barukh lives in the kurdish suburbs of jerusalem with his wife and two sons.
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