Home : Poems : Miknaf Ha'aretz : The Heights of the Holy
The Heights of the Holy

To the kedoshim of Maalot
upon the Shloshim
- in tears.

The child
who but a second
to his life remains,
before his murderer
stood, a pillar of fear
abysmal terror
in his fathomless eyes

Trembles innocence,
before cruelty,
filth, evil.
In a killer's face
Hell smolders -
a blaze of ice
in wrathful storm
on a pure little flame

A cry of wonder
in childish eyes
Why does this stranger
wish to take
my life?
Why in his bloom
shall he be cut down
full of zest
caress and light
spreading arms
to love and spring?

Stands the child
before the bitter end
lone, forsaken
in the wasteland's expanse -
Stands the child:
a frozen scream
in the plain of terror

But behold! Who are they
the mighty hosts
who come in flight
and upon chariots of fire
in storm appear,
with a radiance to them
as Heaven's glow?
A flaming battalion
that charges, interposes
and as a fortress stands
between the vileness of the murderer
and the saintliness
of the dying child?

Why, they are the countless generations
of millions pure
martyrs of Israel Eternal
the tortured
the violated
forgers of the Covenant
upon the alters of faith

In a dance of love
in a ring of light
they crown
the snow-white soul

With overflowing compassion
in most tender mercy
in their arms, they carry her,
upon wings of song
to the Heights of The Holy -
To cast her a sapphire brick
in the fortress of Right
being erected anew,
to set her as a brilliant stone
in the gates of justice
rising from the dust,
rising on - -

Till she is uplifted, exalted
elevated and sanctified
as a shining pearl
in the Supernal Crown

From the Hebrew by Yanki Tauber

Copyright © 1942-2024 Family Steinmetz. Reproduction or copying of this material is permitted if the source is cited.

Miknaf Ha'aretz

• The All-Inclusive (p. 8)

• Through Tranquility and Turmoil (p. 10)

• The Authors of the Tosfos (p. 12)

• A Prayer in the wee Hours (p. 13)

• Freedom of Choice (p. 16)

• The One (p. 17)

• The Spark That Shall Never Die (p. 20)

• The Luminaries of the Generation (p. 25)

• Eternity (p. 37)

• The Memory of the Souls (p. 38)

• The Cry of the Holy Sparks (p. 46)

• Is This Man? (p. 52)

• Tear (p. 77)

• The Ascent of the Tzaddik (p. 89)

• The Dejected's Prayer (p. 96)

• Night (p. 120)

• A Story About a Prince (p. 152)