Sunday, October 8, 2023

Israel Attacked

Thinking about the attack by Hamas on Israel, Saturday, I went into my files and pulled out a poem written about a visit to the Armory at Latrun during my 2006 pilgrimage to Israel. The photo below is of an Israeli soldier at the Wall of Names Memorial of fallen soldiers.


Latrun, Israel—2006


We visit the Museum of the Armory in Latrun

observe Merkava Tanks, the best in the world

solid and serious—

built to encase Israeli soldiers

in a womb of steel

built to show the enemy who’s boss


and we see names, row after row of names

etched on a long dark wall

exactly 4,498 of them—

the names of soldiers, mostly young

killed in Israel’s wars


Our guide points to one, newly engraved

It is his friend, Oz

who died a few months ago

Oz, who fought at his side

in the war against Hezbollah and Lebanon

the war we watched on our American TVs in June


I talk with three young soldiers holding M15s

ask if I may photograph them

They politely decline—

It is the Sabbath


One of them

has carefully knotted tzitzit[1]

protruding from his olive drabs


Maude Carolan Pych

[1] Tzitzit are the specially knotted fringes, attached to the four corners of the tallit (prayer shawl), worn by observant Jews.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."

                                                               Psalm 122:6 KJV

"Behold the Lamb...poetically!"

by Maude Carolan Pych

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