poems by Ruth Fogelman, Mindy Aber Barad Golembo, Hayim Abramson, Esther Cameron, Brenda Appelbaum Golani, Leah Leslie Gottesman, Shoshannah Somerville, Alana Schwartz and Gerson Moskowitz, Esther Fein, and Chananya Weissman


 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.



Alana Schwartz and Gershon Moskowitz

teddy, on the treetop

when the wind blows, the cradle will drop

papa, I want to breathe

Papa, there is a teddy on me

papa, the bough is breaking

I am disappearing

Why me?


teddy, on the treetop

when the bough breaks,

the cradle will fall

Papa, I want to live

to feel light like a bird

papa. what will happen

when I fall?


teddy, on the treetop,

falling down with the cradle

שמע ישראל

ה אלוקינו

ה אחד


down, comes baby

like Mary, and her little lamb

led to the slaughter

and in the end, one silence

Great silence


Esther Fein

MERON LAG B’OMER  (Erev Shabbos 5781)



I must be saturated with pain

“my cup runneth over” from it

I am aware of the loss

But can’t ingest anymore and live


in order to continue building my faith

and worshipping Hashem

in my helplessness and humility

I must keep seeking joy


like a swimmer in distress

drowning in sorrow

the thought of preparing for Shabbos

is my life-saver


I keep fighting the battle of grief

with the dance of hope


 Chananya Weissman

They were murdered
It was planned
Rules our Land

[see: www.rivkalevy.com, also https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/305422?fbclid=IwAR2MtrkKecD-Shr0G2BqCHkGaciKotnUwYCI4ISCAv5EuAUxJ1GGVFQlqsk and https://www.jpost.com/opinion/after-meron-israel-needs-a-culture-of-true-accountability-editorial-667621.]



Hayim Abramson

The Meron Disaster  


In the days of Hamsin, God’s fury

human errors lead to disasters

this is the time that God hides his face behind a mask of secrets

we cry and do not understand why and who is to blame


There is no choice but to continue after the panic

release the feeling of a cork in a closed bottle

no one can be wise in a time of crisis

everything that happened, and hurts because of a hard decree


The bodies are already in shrouds, will go to complete cemetery lines

the burial society has done what is necessary to take care of the dead

there is no difference to the angel of death silent are the wise

they only know that souls will come under the divine Throne, ascend


At the funerals they are faithfully taken down one by one

into the grave of the soft soil that awaits

the stretcher bed is folded

until another body will come, close, almost together


People who like the crowns of Israel were struck by lightning

no one wants to lift the glove of such a challenging trial

death demanded a hidden victory card, close to the chest

the survivors cry over the dead in a deep pit, they are stunned


Obituaries in honor of the dead give some comfort

the heart is bitter in mourning, drained

a flood of memories gives an inner feeling of softness

in the wings of the spirit of faith they cover the voices of the family in mourning


Aharon was silent and so we are in the face of the loss of the dead and their virtues

they went out of the world, blooming like notes towards the sky

they walk to the infinite, they ascend to the experience

and we ask for mercy from God after the early fall of autumn leaves.