My heart cries out to you, O God,
others hear and feel their own – but you, O God, hear the pain on my heart and my life.
By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.
You, O God are omnipotent and gave me life
To you I owe everything.
Where are you now God that those who tried and did take the lives of my ancestors those dark days in Germany
are back today trying to take my life.
My soul screams to you, O God, as do the souls of those who escaped the Holocaust with their lives, but wound up
in a foreign land which rejects us.
How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land
How can we praise you, O God, when we escaped the Concentration Camps – the Pograms – the constant
How can we forget that when we finally broke free from the bondage which demanded and took the lives of those
we love, no country wanted us
We were refugees on a ship in the ocean not able to land because we were repudiated
No one wanted us,
Wealthy nations wanted the wealthy – they passed laws to only allow into their space relatives of those who were rich and who looked like them, talked like them, had the same values including the rejection of those like me – one of your chosen, O God, but to others one who they reject because of my love of God. They wanted the young, those trained and able to serve their needs. They wanted those who would compromise their God for wealth, power and control.
We had been debased; we had been treated as beasts of burden and slaves
We had with us the elderly, the sick, those emotionally crippled, the destitute, those whose hearts cried because
they were afraid to let out their pain in any other way – the cost of others hearing and seeing their pain was too high.
The countries to whom we made our supplications turned us away and so we floated – with no food, no water, tired and desperate
Those same countries are killing us today and they are killing those who are not us, but who are unlike them
They come out and shoot us as they do animals and birds of prey only they are more careful with those because
they have a monetary value to them – we do not.
Those who arrive on these shores in the condition we were in all those many years ago are treated with the same disdain and rejection. Has nothing changed? Have they no shame? Have they no soul? Are they so enmeshed in evil they cannot overcome it?
They have not learned, they do not know!
O God you have searched me and you know me
Rescue me, O Lord, from evil men and women who are all around me and all around those you cherish
protect me from men and women of violence who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war everyday.
they make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s
the poison of vipers is on their lips
O Lord, I say to you, You are my God
do not grant the wicked their desires
do not let their plans succeed.
Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the troubles their lips have caused
I know that God secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy
Let justice, O God, roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream
For today is replicated, in my land, the plight of the Jews during Hitler’s day. But in this day others have been added. Not just those who sympathize with the Jews, but those whose skin is darker; whose language is different; who are trying to sing Your song in a strange land.
Immigrants looking for a home, in this land, are characterized as a “Caravan” looking to attack a nation when in reality they are refugees seeking asylum, a place where they can find food, shelter and a safe place for their children.
In this society can justice be done by the victims of injustice? That is who we are O God and we are trying to reach out to those who are in the space we occupied just a generation ago.
Is that possible, O God? Can we continue living in a space also occupied by such pain and evil.
We will use our institutions to bring about justice and our lives to insure that others do not have to walk that Trail of Tears the way we were forced to walk it without food, water or shelter.
If that is possible, we will try, O God, so others will not have to serve and live the horrible life of slaves, who have been consigned to live as beasts of burden.
Thought I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes.
With your right hand, you save me.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh
when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
though war break out against me even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek God in God’s temple.
Of one thing am I confident –
that I will see the beauty of the Lord in the land of the living!
And in the end:
In memory of:
Maurice Stallard , (69)- Louisville, Kentucky Vicki Lee Jones (67) – Louisville, Kentucky
- Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland;
- Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross;
- Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill;
- Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood;
- brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill, and David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill;
- married couple Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg; Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkinsburg;
- Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill;
- Melvin Wax, 87, of Squirrel Hill;
- Irving Younger, 69, of Mount Washington.
The Lord bless you and keep you
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you
May God’s face be lifted unto you and give you peace, both now and ever more.