The One Who Does Not Know How to Ask

Haggadah Section: -- Four Children

The one who does not know how to ask said:

This time, too, my father, this time, too,

Deliver my soul, returned from Hell,

From wrath and indignation.

Because words are insufficient to depict the Hell

Because death has no idiom,

And I, who do not know how to ask,

Am tongue-tied sevenfold.

Because I was commanded to wander on long roads—

No joy, no tranquility, no rest.

Because I was commanded to look at the torment of 


To pass over the dead bodies of infants.

Because they beat my eyes with horsewhips

And commanded me to open my eyes

Snake whispers crept toward my nights

Not to sleep, not to dream, not to forget.

And I did not know, was the guilt mine,

Did I betray, did I misuse—

I am not wicked, not smart, not even simple,

And for this reason, I asked no questions.

Article and poem from: Zierler, Wendy.

Four Sons of the Holocaust: Leah Goldberg's "Keneged 

arba'ah banim"

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, 

Volume 23, Number 2, Winter 2005. Special Issue: 

Shoah and Israeli Writing


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