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{Page 268}

“Hands”

Moshe Yanovsky (Janowsky) *

Translated from the Yiddish by Martin S. Bornstein

(from the cycle “Small World”)

United Hands - In Two Tablets
And Ten Fingers - The Ten Commandments
Opposite the Face - They are being held
Begin: I am – I am G-d.

Taken Hands - G-d Assigned
Swords, Spears the Fingers Become
With Sharp Nails, in order to stab
A Small World to Upset (disturb)

For What Purpose (were they) Created
Branch Hands, Such Clearness
Perhaps the same (purpose) as thorns?
To Stab and throw out fear?

Your Hands should not be lifted to lynch
It is the Hangman’s, the Wildest, Ruins,
Your hand human being, is only to pray,
A Cohen you are, a Cohen.

(Lift up your hands to “Dochenen”**
With your face standing to the Masses,
They should search without looking
Head, moist tears, of pale anguish…)


* The author of this poem, Moshe Janowsky, who perished for (kiddush hashem) the holy name of G-d, in the death camp Chelmno, was the chairman of the Tzareh Agudat Israel in Belchatow. This poem was written on the eve of the outbreak of the Second World War. return

** Dochenen = The priestly benediction of the Cohens. return

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