TOI – A prayer for a burning city

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A prayer for a burning city

It is here I chose to make my home for the year
Not a simple place to call home
Complex and beautiful
Imbued with compassion and kindness

They say that light is discovered amongst darkness
In the streets of Lod, wretchedness mingles with great goodness
The people I meet are so gentle
With hands that seem to be magically crafted
To soften the sharpness of others

Over the past week Lod is burning
The Torah that I came to learn remains in that place
Between the holy books and synagogues that have been reduced to embers.

There are not enough to defend these sites
for not everyone cares enough.

I know Lod
I am familiar with the city’s pain
The chasm between cultures
The rare frictions.

This week’s Lod is not the city I recognize
Nor can anyone else recognize her.

Yet, amidst the riots and the darkness
The city I know shines through

I still see warm embraces
Unity
True love
And empathy
Caring for another, protection from all distress.

“Yehiye B’seder”,
It will be ok
When all this calms down
Slowly, we will emerge
With a firm and comforting hand
We will heal the wounds.

Lod is the optimal place for women’s Torah learning
Though the city does not appear that way at first glance.

She will not be defiled with blood
She will rise and she will heal.

Step by step she will learn again to walk
To repave the path of co-existence,

I know that she will recover.

But for now
All we can do is pray

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