#Kristallnacht


Kristallnacht
night of shattered glass
night of shattered dreams
night of shattered lives

untold brutality
never to be forgotten

Shattered glass
and pillars of unholy fires rising to the sky
feel the pieces of glass cutting,
burning through your skin
as you run in panic from the smoke, fire, lights, lamps
and persecutor screaming,
arresting you for your own safety
-so they say-
Run!

Burnt books,
lives,
hopes
announcing wholescale murder
smell the stench,
see the small pieces of burnt books and ashes,
floating in the sky,
covering roofs, ground and skin
inhaled and exhaled

Never forget,
always remember,
always educate

Reach out the hands
to the victims of todays antisemitism
and discrimination
Build new circles of hope and peace
Let new generations rise

Let the people of Israel live!
Am Yisrael Chai!

And shed a tear
for those who are gone…

Reach out, seek Peace.


Dirk_Willems_cropped

Today I’d like to tell you about a picture that has become important to me, and that is really inspiring.

On the picture, you can see Dirk Willems, a dutch Anabaptist, saving his persecutor, as he is about to drown as the ice broke beneath him.

Continue reading “Reach out, seek Peace.”

Lay Down


No, NO!

We won’t let evil have the final word

In solidarity with the victims
with their families
mourning the lives that were lost
and those who were so deeply affected

Yet calling out to end
end this madness

Churches are meant to be
spaces
of
hope
peace
resilience

The Church
is a people
following her Master

The Prince of Peace
who willingly turned the cheek
and paid the price
and told his disciples to do likewise

For all who take the sword will perish by the sword
For all who take the gun will perish by the gun

Disciples, lay down your guns
Your weapon is love
Your shelter is God

Blessed are the Peacemakers
They will be called God’s children.

Blessed are the Meek.
The will inherit the Earth.

Blessed Hunger


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for justice,
for they will be filled

So blessed I am
for I am so hungry

Hungry
to see the hatred end
to see the injustice end
met with justice, true and real
sick and tired
of all things
fcked up in this world

Hungry
to see never hear voices of hatred again
no insults and mockeries in ears
burning in my soul
never feel sticks and fists and leather belts
on my dark, Jewish, trans, gay, straight, disabled, foreign, and different skin

Racism
hatred
bigotry
-phobies
Anti-semitism
Discrimination

Stop!

Feed me,
feed me,
I can’t take it anymore

I’m tired of your marches,
your torches,
your stupid insulting, meaningless slogans:
alt-right, neo-nazis, right, extremists, haters–
you’re so fucked up and you don’t even see it
blinded by your own light-
blinded
blind

We won’t give in,
we won’t give up
we don’t look away
we march in protest silently
we speak up loudly
we write without ceasing
You beat me up
but I’m still here
you killed my ancestors
but I won’t go away

But I won’t use your weapons
Don’t even dream of it

Blessed are the Peacemakers
for they shall inherit the earth

-and not you.

Refugee Passover


I’m tired this morning and it is no wonder. Last night, Passover started and of course, we stayed up long.

Passover commemorates and celebrates the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery; or, it is the even that constituted us as a people. Leaving Egypt in a haste and fleeing through the see of reeds, we were refugees, and the seder meal makes us relive the history of liberation, as though each of us has been there. Why yes, each of us is part of the people, each of us has carries some of what ancient Egypt represents within us, and each of us needs liberation – all in a communal perspective: you don’t eat a seder meal alone, on your own.

As a descendant of a refugee people, and thinking about these days of Passover, lots of things go through my mind.

What does it mean to be a descendant of a refugee people?

Through our history, right from the beginning, the Jewish people have suffered violence and persecution. We have wandered in search of a safe place, in search of a home. We have settled in many places, adapted, only to be forced to leave and find another place.

So what does it mean to be a descendant of a refugee people?

Doesn’t it mean that every refugee is my brother and my sister, no matter their creed or color. It means that I cannot be silent about what is being done, and that I cannot be silent when others in my country want to close the doors. It means that I need to speak up when my country wants to sell weapons to other countries and warlords, or participate in or commence acts of war.

It means also that in my quest for a home, I cannot displace and violate and turn into refugees those who are my neighbors, my brothers, my sisters – turning me into oppressor. It means not saying “nits will become lice”, but seeing all children as inestimable treasures, to be cherished and treasured, and whose future must be ensured, in the best conditions possible.

It means always standing up for social justice, for peace, for solidarity, for friendship, reaching out to others. How can I be truly free when others are not? I thank God every day for my freedom – but just the same I must pray for the freedom of the rest of the world that starts at my doorsteps. And think about which concrete action I can take.

P1020909sm

חג שמח

 

Ḥalab – ﺣﻠﺐ


Aleppo cries
Aleppo dies

In the once ancient metropolis
Capital of culture
Amongst the oldest cities of the world
known for your proficiency

how have you been brought down
by injustice!

Today’s Herods
are killing
children
and their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters
dogs cats and birds

until nothing is left

Bombarded
Shelled
Set ablaze
Hunted down
and Executed

A family seeking refuge in a house entryway
just the time to hear the explosion
the fraction of a second
the doorway crumbles
a broken neck
only the feet of the infant daughter
are left under the rubble
and corpses line the street
The executioners cry Victory!
Whilst the world watches

Calling for a ceasefire
calling for help
calling for comfort
calling for peace
calling for freedom
calling for the world to wake up
calling the mighty to stop their folly
calling to end the martyr of innocents

God,
have mercy
Don’t
let Aleppo
die

 

I wrote this last year, in mid-december. I decided to repost this from my other blog because refugees from warzones still need our help.

Be still.


Peace,
be still

but not the stillness
of muffled voices
of gagged mouths
of fearful eyes
of frightened souls
and dead bodies

not the silence
of the compromise
decided by the one that is stronger

Peace
be still

stillness in the hearts

stillness
quiet
calm
rest
healing

Hands
quietly reaching out across self-imposed borders
across generation-imposed borders
at first gently, then firmly
reaching out
to transform into sisters and brothers
whoever
they may touch
quietly
gently
peacefully

Peace,
be still.