By Mark Elliott Shapiro
Translated from the Hebrew by the author
on the 45th anniversary of my Aliyah to Israel, to this holy, pure land
I ask myself:"to build an ark or not?
Should I close myself within a tiny walled space
of indifference, of a refusal to look at reality,
to protect myself from the wave of hatred,
terror knives Molotov cocktails bombs and rockets?
Should I say to myself: "But I have no choice –
We must all learn to live with this situation"?
But I came on Aliyah to Israel to build and to be built –
As the classic Zionist song says
But perhaps I can build a huge ark
that could contain all of us
All the inhabitants of this land, this volcanic land
And all the wild animals (including my cat, of course) and domestic beasts
And all the flowers and trees
An ark that would be resistant to the fire of hatred
to the waves of cries of "Murder!"
to a cruel sun of violence
An ark that would joyfully accept a blessed rain
the warm drops of love and solidarity
And the sky would be bathed in the mighty light of
Bolts of lightning
Illuminating our minds
And perhaps I shall invite Ahmed and Leila and Luke and Mary
to build this ark together with me
And perhaps there will not even be a need
to finish the ark
Perhaps there is only the need to be part of the process of building it?
Written and translated in Beersheva on October 12, 2015