A Poem on the Impossibility of Passover

Haggadah Section: Nirtzah

On the Impossibility of Passover

by Robert Cohen


‘On Passover we celebrate as if we ourselves have been set free’

On my journey
To the Promised Land
My feet have become entangled
In the roots of upturned trees

Across the Jordan
I see homes turned to rubble
By the strong hand and the outstretched arm
Blocking the path to righteousness

Deliverance is held up at the checkpoint
Freedom chooses hunger
To make its case

And what is there left to celebrate
With timbrels and dancing?

I ask my questions
Eat bitter herbs
And count the plagues that we have sent

Cleansed
Refugeed
Absenteed
Unrecognised
Occupied
Besieged
Walled
Segregated
Sewaged over
Passed over

Grafitti on the Separation Wall in the West Bank. Credit: Robert Cohen

We have melted our inheritance
To cast a new desert idol
And the words from Sinai
Are crushed beneath its hooves

There is no Moses to climb the mountain a third time
Elijah is detained indefinitely
The mission is lost
Freedom is drowned
And the angels gather to weep

It is the first night of the Feast of Freedom
I open the Haggadah
Place olives on the Seder plate
And confront the impossibility of Passover

This year in Mitzrayim
This year in the narrow place

Source:  
http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2013/03/20/a-poem-on-the-impossibility-of-passover/

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