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Eli, Eli

Eli, Eli

When Hannah Szenes wrote "Eli, Eli" in 1942, Nazis were murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews every month and the end of slaughter was still three years in the future. Szenes never saw the end of WWII. After parachuting into Nazi occupied Europe, she was captured, tortured and executed by firing squad.

My God, my God,
may it never end –
the sand and the sea,
the rustle of the water,
the lightning of the sky,
the prayer of man.

אלי, אלי, שלא יגמר לעולם
החול והים
רשרוש של המים
ברק השמים
תפילת האדם

Szenes wrote "Eli, Eli" at a time when there was a real danger that the beauty in the world was about to be extinguished. Signs were pointing in that direction and yet, Szenes wrote these six powerful and hopeful lines. The context in which they were written and the simple beauty of the language is breathtaking.