[In Burnt Offering, Rabbi Dr. Faier tells of writing this poem immediately after the Six Day War:  "And when it was over and the tensions of body and soul found release, the words came.  Mere words that sought to echo the wounds of millennia -- and the incredible hope which healed them again and again.  That for me, living at the time in distant Pittsburgh, the words would form themselves only in my mother tongue, Yiddish, is perhaps the most revealing testimony, since English was then, and had been for years, the tongue of my scientific and daily life."   The present writer translated the poem into English, with the help of the author, shortly before Rosh HaShanah 5767 (September 2006).]

 The people awake from a terrible nightmare

Of exile and horror and grief

And surge toward the Wall once of Wailing, united,

Their longings converged in relief.


The age when we wandered is over, is dying,

And no one is mourning, and no one is crying:

‘Tis the Western Wall which the people now grips

With the hands of our heroes, with eyes and with lips.


From galut, from the corners of Earth, Jews are straining

To wrest themselves free of the nations’ restraining,

With clenched fingers writhing against iron nets

In the dark prison-house of the grim Soviets.


Outcries, long stifled, from here and from there

Rush toward the Kotel, our triumph to share;

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We feel them, dim shapes which tallesim enfold,

In our midst by a touch of redemption consoled.


Now arise, reassembled, bones crushed by fury

Who had waited long ages for news, now they hurry,

And those who in death had made holy the Name

Have gotten their orders to come home again.


After centuries of hope, after centuries of trust,

In these days of testing, surmounting the past,

The locked doors of silence swing wide in Creation:

The way is paved homeward for Israel’s nation.


The nations are muttering and grinding their teeth,

Without understanding in fury they seethe,

They are scorched by the light that illumines our way

From the Mediterranean to Aqaba’s bay.


Now in their assemblies the haters arise,

With murderous faces and mouths full of lies

They wield  words like weapons to wrest back the lands

That were hallowed to us, out of our rightful hands.


They torture the truth, and G-d they contemn,

His redemption-command has no meaning for them,

Our victory and comfort they cannot endure,

So they lie to themselves, “We can even the score.“


But today we are learning the meaning of those

Ancient words in the scrolls about history’s close,

The manifest sense of the old prophecy

That lies wrapped in the pledge of our G-d’s constancy.


David’s son has been summoned, he comes to explain,

Stepping over the threshold to tell it again

Till the teeth-grinding nations at last understand

That these six days of victory were wrought by G-d’s hand.


                                               Zvi Faier

                                              tr. E. Cameron