In parallel
Poem written in my parked car outside the synagogue waiting for the bomb squad to sweep the building again


open up
peel back your ribs
expose what's inside
see the child

start with pity
or compassion, then
become responsible
if you can bear it

if he is like you
if (you think)
he is not like you
this is how
the journey begins

the crying child
in front of you
and then do
it again

and again
open hope's door
the only way I know
to aim
toward freedom



וַתִּפְתַּח֙ וַתִּרְאֵ֣הוּ אֶת־הַיֶּ֔לֶד וְהִנֵּה־נַ֖עַר בֹּכֶ֑ה וַתַּחְמֹ֣ל עָלָ֔יו וַתֹּ֕אמֶר מִיַּלְדֵ֥י הָֽעִבְרִ֖ים זֶֽה׃
When she opened it, she saw that it was a child, a boy crying. She took pity on it and said, “This must be a Hebrew child.” (Exodus 6:2)
פָּתַח vb. open; Arabic فَتَحَ; see פֵּ֫תַח opening, unfolding; see פֶ֣תַח תִּקְוָה doorway of hope
חָמַל vb. spare, pity, have compassion on; Arabic حَمَلَ bear, become responsible