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Monday, March 28, 2016


by Lynnie Gobeille

In a prayer shawl, Shmuel Herzfeld, American Open Orthodox rabbi who heads Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Washington, DC was carried off by security moments after protesting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at AIPAC on March 21, 2016. He explained his action in the Washington Post, ‘I was sitting six rows away from the stage. And as Trump began his speech, I rose from my seat. I spread my tallit over my shoulders, raised my hands up high and declared: “This man is wicked. He inspires racists and bigots. He encourages violence. Do not listen to him.” With every cell in my body, I felt the obligation to declare his wickedness to the world.’

                  for Shmuel Herzfeld

Prayer shawls . . .
the Dude knew
he would abide.
Gandhi knew too
and preached Kindness.
Mother Teresa said:
“The truth is in your actions.”

I no longer know what truth is
watching my people change
shape-shifting to survive . . .
building walls to keep some out-
in the same country
that welcomed my mother home.

I am one generation away
from all your killing stones.

The Dude said: abide.
I whisper this—
a tune any child can recite:
Peace—to you this Easter
Shalom . . . I say—
wrapping my prayer shawl tight.

Lynnie Gobeille lives and writes in Rhode Island . . . watching out for the Lamed Vav Ẓaddikim who cross her path.