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by alongtheserivers
Jun 29, 2011 | 5010 views | 3 3 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Arlene Weiner
Arlene Weiner

Hello Poetry Lovers,

I am getting ready to do a poetry reading at Hemingway's Cafe, on Forbes Ave. in Oakland, tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 28, at 8:00 pm. If you are reading this today, Monday, or tomorrow during the day, please come. I will be reading with three other poets, including Arlene Weiner, a widely-published Jewish poet of the highest caliber.

A focus of mine is (and has been for many years) the Holocaust, and once again, I will be including some Holocaust-related material. I am particularly concerned these days with the subject of remembering the Holocaust, and applying its lessons to current issues surrounding Israel and its enemies. I am of the opinion that many American Jews wish to deny the reality of of anti-Semitism when it is masked to appear as anti-Zionism, which is not much different and simply another awful fact of life, anyway. 

We Jews are unhappy with the thought that we are disliked, even despised, for no fair or rational reason. Who wouldn't wish to deny such a harsh fact? But unfortunately, in many quarters, it is a fact. Of course, this awful truth is not true of all people or nations, but let's face it folks---friends of Jews, and friends of Israel, are not plentiful.

In this vein, I present you with a poem:


I Apologize



to my precious elders;

the valuable ones,

those thick-fleshed

indestructible Jews


I have known,

those who

endured; those who

had the clenched tooth

grit to flee before

the ovens were lit,

those --bergs and --steins

and --skis

those tailors artists bakers

peddlers scholars music-makers

who did not become the incinerated trash of Europe:


My own people, once stalwart as the stars,

must now weep as we, their stunning progeny,


disappear like shadows into the cracked cement of sweet America

our brainless heads sucked under the white foam,

merging, whistling, forgetting, drowning, dancing,

no lessons learned, refusing to keep anything.




                                                                                           -            -Judith R. Robinson


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Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 02, 2011
That poem really speaks to me, especially the line about no lessons being learned. While I appreciate Bege's comment and his points, to me the greatest tragedy is not intermarriage, which at least signals growing acceptance. No, the worst tragedy and shame is the failure of some Jews to support Israelis' rights to self-defense. Very simply, an argument can be made--love--to support intermarriage in many cases (not to mention that there is no telling what religion children will choose to practice and some intermarried couples raise Jewish children). However, failing to support Israel when the Jewish state is under drive from murderous enemies, a mere 70 years after the Holocaust, is by any reasonable standard an absurdist, self-hating, and historically brain dead "position." What's it going to take for some Jews to wake up? Great poem.
July 01, 2011
As the survivors fade away, our children and grandchildren consider being Jewish more of a nationality (concerned with/about Israel) than a religion that can be practised anywhere. This ,I believe creates one of our biggest losses, Intermarriage, where the couple now have no religion, as will the children.
July 01, 2011
Some powerful imagery in this poem, Judith.