Sunday, September 26, 2021

Mount Scopus

A View of Jerusalem from Mount Scopus...

Image credit:

I vividly remember during my second pilgrimage to Israel in 1987, while riding in the tour bus to Mount Scopus, to overlook Jerusalem, that our tour guide, Micha Ashkenazi, suddenly broke into singing so beautifully, "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" (Jerusalem of Gold). 

The following poem is from my third pilgrimage in 2006...


Israel Pilgrimage—2006


It’s nighttime—

We arrive at Mount Scopus

overlooking Yerushalayim[1]

The stars glimmer

in the heavens

and The City is lit up

like the jewel of all the earth


Wishful, I want

there to be fireworks

want the surroundings

to express the excitement

stirring inside of me—

Suddenly, I hear

the unmistakable sound of fireworks

boom, boom, booming


although I cannot see

their luminous splendors

bursting in the sky


We partake of the fruit of the vine—

our cup of blessing

as we prepare to enter in


Our rabbi prays

for the peace of Jerusalem

prays the Shema[2]

prays the Shehekianu[3]

covers his head

with a magnificent tallit[4]

embellished with

the Star of David and the Lamb

He lifts his hands and prays

the Aaronic Benediction


Our joy cannot be contained—

This is the City of Our Great King


I watch a tear

trickle down

my rabbi’s face


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Jerusalem

[2] The central prayer in the Jewish prayerbook (Siddur)

[3] A common Jewish prayer to celebrate special occasions

[4] prayer shawl

Want to read more poems?

Visit my website for information about how to purchase my books of poetry. 

Go to

No comments:

Post a Comment