Elul 8: Hear

by Rebecca Einstein Schorr on 19 August 2018 @ 12:49 am

Courtesy: Shutterstock

For months, I have been unable to get this line from Jeremiah out of my head.

כֹּ֣ה ׀ אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֗ה ק֣וֹל בְּרָמָ֤ה נִשְׁמָע֙ נְהִי֙ בְּכִ֣י תַמְרוּרִ֔ים רָחֵ֖ל מְבַכָּ֣ה עַל־בָּנֶ֑יהָ מֵאֲנָ֛ה לְהִנָּחֵ֥ם עַל־בָּנֶ֖יהָ כִּ֥י אֵינֶֽנּוּ׃

*Thus said the LORD: A cry is heard in Ramah— Wailing, bitter weeping— Rachel weeping for her children. She refuses to be comforted for her children, who are gone.

All of the articles and essays I have read regarding the families separated at the border have focused on the children…and understandably so. The reports coming out of the detention centers are horrifying.

But it’s the cries of the mothers that I hear in my head at night while waiting for sleep to overcome me.

We know what it is like to be separated from our children.

The mothers who sent their children alone on a boat sailing to the “Goldene Medina.”
The mothers who put their children on Britain-bound trains.
The mother who pushed her young daughter out of a moving train on its way for “resettlement in the East.”
The mothers whose children were snatched from their arms during a selektion.

Whether by choice
or by the hands of others,
the mothers of our people have been weeping for their missing children
since ancient times.

Even when the text doesn’t report their falling tears.

Lot’s Wife.
Moses’ mother

Their cries co-mingle with Rachel’s.
And Hagar’s.

And those of the mothers in every generation,
of every race,
and every religion.

What will it take for us to hear and repond
to their cries?

*Hebrew text and translation courtesy of Sefaria.org.


#BlogElul 2018

#BlogElul is a monthlong exploration of themes pertaining to the High Holy Days. Created by R’ Phyllis Sommer, the #BlogElul #ElulGram project allows participants to delve into topics as a way of preparing for the season.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Christine Marie 19 August 2018 @ 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm

We do hear, we pray, we laminate! We vocalize, and always pray and support truth, love, faith, kindness! Amen


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