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[Page 745]

Never Will I Forget

Yehoshua Shwartz

Translated by Lazer Mishulovin


That tragic dark time,
although it is already many years past,
this poor shtetl Lishe,
will in my memory always remain.

The bloody hand reached there as well,
extended a murderous rule,
Ridiculed and humiliated the kdoshim,[1]
And then drove them to the slaughter.
Heaven forbid, we forget,
our destroyed community;
Forever remember the bitter end,
The day twenty-seven of Av.[2]

To remember and always remind,
the destruction of the Third Temple,[3]
Millions were killed on kidush-hashem,[4]
Among the kdoshim – the Jews of Lishe.

1. Kdoshim – Holy-ones, Jewish martyrs who were murdered for no other reason other than being Jewish. Their death is considered to be a sanctification of G-d's name, hence the term kdoshim, holy-ones.
2. Av – The eleventh month of the Hebrew calendar, also a month of mourning for the destruction of two Holy Temples, see footnote 3.
3. Third temple - There were two Holy Temples that were destroyed in antiquity by non-Jewish oppressors on the Ninth of Av. The author here is referring to the destruction of the Lishe [Wielka Glusha] Jewish community on the twenty-seven of Av as the destruction of the third holy temple.
4. Kidush-hashem – Sanctification of G-d's name. See footnote 1.

[Page 781]

In Memory of the K'doshim
of My Family and of the Jews in Lishe

Yehoshua Shwartz

Translated by Lazer Mishulovin


In memory of my father, Moshe the religious man. My relatives: uncles and aunts,
I remember, he was pale and haggard. Distant and close neighbors;
From the beit-midrash[1] late he would come, Friends, associates and cousins,
In his hands his talit[2] with the old siddur[3]. I will never forget anyone.
My mother Chaia-Yehudit, peace be on her, And our goyim[8] and even the good ones,
A righteous woman, loyal and soft-spoken, Robbed away from the Jews the last penny.
To travel to Eretz Yisrael[4] was her dream They stand by their huts in good spirit,
And on her lips always rested a prayer. Looking on the Jews with the yellow patches.
My mother, the religious woman, who The goyim all pressed and fresh,
Never missed to recite her entire psalms and prayers; With no shame or embarrassment,
Went to slichot[5] predawn to beseech G-d, Watch how the enemy drives the k’doshim from Lishe;
Read the Yiddish-Chumash[6] and counted the omer[7]. Young and old, infant, man, and woman.
In memory of Pinchas, my brother the good man, A child breaks out with a bitter cry;
Alone he remained with my mother, He cannot comprehend what happened here.
Assisted, comforted, and watched; For what sin? – asks the child;
Until the murder in the ghetto they were together. Why do we deserve such suffering and pain?
A great Torah scholar was Reb Moshe Chaim: That is how the Jews of Lishe and its surroundings went,
A Jew, a humble, and a G-d-fearing man. On kidush-hashem without any why and without any reason.
He was in Lishe, the Rabbi, Driven to Kamin together, like sheep all,
Until the destruction of the twenty-seventh of Av. Brutally murdered, all together

1. Beis-medresh – House of Study and prayer.
2. Talis – Prayer shawl.
3. Siddur – Prayer book.
4. Eretz Yisrael – Land of Israel.
5. Sliches – Supplication prayer recited during the week before Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.
6. Yiddish- Chumush – The Pentateuch with Yiddish translation.
7. Omer – The forty-nine day period between the Jewish holidays Passover and Shevues (Pentecost)
8. Goyim – Gentiles.
See endnotes on poem p. 745 Never Will I Forget K'doshim – Holy-ones, Jewish martyrs who were murdered for no other reason other than being Jewish. Their death is considered to be a sanctification of G-d's name, hence the term k'doshim, holy-ones. Kidush-hashem - Sanctification of G-d's name.

Lishe 51°49' 25°03', is a name for Glusha, [Wielka Glusha].

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