Magazine article Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought

Still

Magazine article Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought

Still

Article excerpt

Across the country's plains sealed boxcars are carrying names: how long will they travel, how far, will they ever leave the boxcar- don't ask, I can't say, I don't know.

The name Nathan beats the wall with his fist, the name Isaac sings a mad hymn, the name Aaron is dying of thirst, the name Sarah begs water for him.

Don't jump from the boxcar, name David. In these lands you're a name to avoid, you're bound for defeat, you're a sign pointing out those who must be destroyed.

At least give your son a Slavic name: he'll need it. Here people count hairs and examine the shape of your eyelids to tell right from wrong, "ours" from "theirs."

Don't jump yet. Your son's name will be Lech. Don't jump yet. The time's still not right. Don't jump yet. The clattering wheels are mocked by the echoes of night.

Clouds of people passed over this plain. Vast clouds, but they held little rain- just one tear, that's a fact, just one tear. A dark forest. The tracks disappear. …

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