Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
As a mourning Yesoma sadly left behind
I’ve been turning things over and over in my mind
And have resolved to speak directly to You, my Creator
For who better to understand us – there is none greater
It’s You who can comfort us and wipe away our tears
It is only You who are capable of alleviating our fears
Now that our beloved parents no longer grace this earth
The ones we could depend on from the moment of our birth
Two beautiful neshamos, they’ve both left us and gone
Up to Shamayim to bear witness upon
The onus of a bitter Golus they personally braved
From early on when heinous mortals proved to be depraved
Throughout their unspeakable ordeal that reverberated in Heaven
You kept a close and watchful eye on them 24/7
Dispatching Your malachim You saved them many a time
From the unrelenting viciousness of the Nazi swine
At 19 our dear mother z”l was met with the greeting “Arbeit Macht Frei”
As she debarked the smothering cattle car and was forced to bid good-bye
To precious family members herded along a different path
Leading to the “showers” of Auschwitz that culminated in their bloodbath
Our dear father hk”m was iron-willed, agile and fit
Divinely blessed with a tenaciousness, vigor and true grit
He hid in snow on rooftops and in flooded cellars come spring
Paying no heed to hunger pangs or the preying insect’s sting
But You, Hashem, know this all – from You nothing is concealed
Moreover, it is You who held their hands and acted as their shield
You further brought the two together, postwar and parent-less
Notwithstanding their bitter experiences, they were shining models of finesse
Fast forward … on to the Holy Land, to struggles amid life anew
In due course to Canadian shores where one was still challenged as a Jew
Bur our dear father’s dogged resistance was to serve him well again
For he’d never dream to abandon Your statutes to conform to those of men
No elaboration needed, dear G-d, for You are quite aware
Of this twosome’s warmth and generosity, a sweet and gentle pair
Despite invariably modest means, they’d fill each outstretched palm
Their delightful company and lending ear were to so many soothing balm
Ah, but the Beis Midrash was our father’s love (save for his family)
For years on end from before the break of dawn he’d toil there happily
Ensuring the mikveh’s effective function to orderliness all around
His selfless devotion to this holy avodah was far and wide renowned
No rain nor hail, no sleet or snow would deter him from his morning routine
At 5:00 a.m. when the masses still slept he’d slip away mostly unseen
Up until 48 hours before You deemed to reclaim his holy soul
He carried on his daily shiur and minyan and was faithful to his passionate goal
It was on Erev Shabbos, Parshas Vayeshev quite a telling sign
The parsha teaches that a tzaddik’s focus is on the bottom line
Maasim tovim defined the life of Yaakov our eminent patriarch
As was our own dear father’s life’s ambition – with which he made his mark
How apropos (as You well know) that chof-daled Kislev memorializes the day
Of the Chanukas HaBayis of the Beis Hamikdash, our acutely yearned-for mainstay
On Erev Chanukah You summoned our Tatty to ascend on high to ignite
The Chanukah candles in Gan Eden … and with our dear mother there to unite
It was close to two whole years since he’d abandoned motivation
To take delight in life’s small joys as he had before their separation
It broke our hearts to witness our dear father’s world turning dark
Life without his Aishes Chayil had simply lost its glowing spark
A bittersweet end to an era – not easy for us children left behind
But You, Ribono shel Olam are HaMakom menachem and indefinably kind
You are the Healer of the brokenhearted, the Father of orphans and more
We await the great light at the end of all eras when perfection You will restore….
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/potpourri/for-the-shloshim-of-yaakov-tovia-ben-boruch-altman-and-second-yahrzeit-of-sara-bas-bentzion-harnik/2010/01/15/
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