Ruth Fogelman

A Ghazal in Memory of the Meron Tragedy

Lag B’Omer 2021



Am Yisrael went to Mount Meron on the Omer’s thirty-third night.

From every corner of the land they came for this joyous night.


They came to pray and celebrate with the music of clarinets

and klezmer bands on the Omer’s thirty-third night.


Bonfires’ red and orange flames flew to heaven

as the men danced in ecstasy throughout the night.


Three-year-old boys sat astride their fathers’ shoulders

for their first hair-cuts on the Omer’s thirty-third night.


Forty-five suddenly slipped, fell and were crushed to death past midnight.

Joy ceased and dance turned to mourning on this grief-filled night.




Mindy Aber Barad Golembo



Hold me

Hug me

Dance with me





Swim with me

Through the tears

And years

Through the fires

The storms

Sands that swirl

Clog and cleanse.

Let us be together

Whatever the metaphor

We are one.




Hayim Abramson

A people of believers


We are people dear to Hashem

in tragedy as in good news

we cry here and laugh there

Am maaminim bne maaminim1

a people of believers children of believers

we are attached to each other

we suffer when they our people fall

likewise, we celebrate together the happy days

We pay our personal and social dues

as members of a family and society

struggle with problems, always unsure

and wade through to show our contentment

Comes the coldness of winter’s death grip

and the warmth of summer’s renewal

Aharon accepted in silence his personal tragedy

Moshe Rabbenu prayed for rachamim, compassion

heartbreak comes and God knows the reasons

just as besorot tovot good tidings at their seasons. 



1Believers descendants of believers: Shabbat 97a




Esther Cameron



I am not one who feels, beside the graves

of holy men, the beat of spirit's wings,

nor one of those swelling the thousand-waves

of pilgrim souls that for so many springs

have lapped the sides of Mount Meron.  But once

in winter I did visit there, and felt

even in my muffled soul something that stirred,

which in a halting Hebrew verse I spelt

about the rain and rain-like blessings poured

down on the mountain for the plains beneath.


I thought of that when we awoke to hear

that Rashbi's height had felt the blow of death --

as if our curse of strife not for Heaven's sake

had mounted to assail the highest sphere!

Could even our leaders sense this, and awake?!




Brenda Appelbaum Golani



Let us go up to the holy mountain

To the hill of Meron, the highest mount

of the Galilee, to raise our voices,

to celebrate the end of the plague,

as if we were worthy to be counted

among the talmidim of Rabbi Akiva,

as measured by our calendar

on the 33rd day of our counting

of the Omer, a joyous occasion,

Suddenly, in the dark hours before the dawn,

we fell, on the steep slippery stairs.

Death caught us unawares.

We were smashed into one another

Our cries became whispers, then silence.

Like meteors that shine brightly but

only for a moment, we fell, we becane

stardust, the atoms of our being rose like angels.

What are we, that G-d should notice us? Yet we are

little lower than the angels. The dead

do not praise G-d, nor those who go down in dust.

Our loved ones who remain, shocked, shaking,

mourning our sudden death, they will speak

our names for us, they will remember and

praise the Eternal


.Brenda Appelbaum-Golani

May 4, 2021 / 22 Iyar 5781 / 37 days to the counting of the Omer


Leah Leslie Gottesman

 Headlining "Stampede"
 codifies rhe unrule
 of torrents of black and white figurines
 with fanatic fervor
 outrageous roars
 with buffalo bravado
 trampling on the air pipes
 stretched heart strings
 the ignoble necks
 of an esoteric entity.
 All shades of humanity were crushed
 on narrow straits to sanctify,
 to hallow,
 to honor.
 Yehi Zichram Baruch



Shoshannah Somerville



In lieu of uncommon difficulties

Despite so many differences

The annoying constancy of disagreements

Those disparaging commentaries that appear

too frequently about ways to conduct ourselves

how to serve or not to serve our country and

with which political parties to align ourselves


Give me your hand

We share a Supernal sadness on this

earth of our ancestors

It is a somber time

a time to introspect and to reach out

a time to reflect on the many lives of young and old

stamped out in a tragic Lag B’Omer at Meron

It is a time to feel the pain of the loved ones who remain


The metaphysical reasons are unanswerable

Taxing ourselves with delving for those answers

only brings more angst

It is wise to realize only

that we are our brothers’ keepers


Lior Angelman

WHO'S To Blame?

Who’s to blame?
As smoke rises from the mount in mourning
And a crushed youth struggles to breathe
And a boy bleeds – with no identity or name.
Don’t ask: Who’s to blame? Who’s to blame?
This is the time to be
silent, in God’s name.