Learn how the Momentum Campaign is reconstructing Judaism → 

“My Own Thinking Heart” a poem by Rabbi Haviva Ner-David

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David

Rabbi Haviva Ner-David shares all of the pain she is holding in this difficult moment before reciting her new poem “My Own Thinking Heart” and offering a creative writing prompt. Taken from Ritualwell’s Nov. 17 virtual gathering, “Holding Each Other.” 

To register for future events, visit https://ritualwell.org

This poem was originally pushed here on Ritualwell.org
“That is what I want to be… the thinking heart of an entire concentration camp.”
-Etty Hillesum, October 3,1942, Westerbork concentration camp
I am Anne Frank,
believer in the good heart
of every human,
that faith and courage can prevent
a miserable death,
that sitting in nature with God alone
can bring comfort and hope.
I am Etty Hillesum,
believer in God and in man,
In the ability of inner peace to bring peace,
of the surrender to death to ease all death,
of the wide horizon and the rose-red cyclamen
to nurture hope.
I am Vivian Silver,
believer in people,
in peace alone as the path to peace,
that extending a hand will receive a hand,
that women’s voices can end this hell,
that having friends on the other side of the fence,
can make a difference.
I am me, sitting in despair
when the body of the last of these women
has been found cremated,
yet this time without the mercy of gassing her first.
And I wonder what Anne and Etty were thinking
when they marched into Auschwitz.
What Vivian was thinking
as Hamas terrorists opened the door to the closet
where she was hiding.
Or did they not find her and simply burn her house
with her in it,
hoping she was in there somewhere
so they could slaughter
another Jew?
With all the words my soul sisters left me,
I will never know their thoughts at that moment in time,
their feelings as the worst was happening to them.
I can never know what they believed as they faced
pure evil.
I am left with only my own thinking heart
in this nightmare humanity has dreamt
for itself.

The Reconstructionist Network