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Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Ninety-Three Daughters of Israel
a Holocaust poem by Chaya Feldman
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

We washed our bodies
and cleansed ourselves;
we purified our souls
and became clean.

Death does not terrify us;
we are ready to confront him.

While alive we served God
and now we can best serve our people
by refusing to be taken prisoner.

We have made a covenant of the heart,
all ninety-three of us;
together we lived and learned,
and now together we choose to depart.

The hour is upon us
as I write these words;
there is barely enough time to transcribe this prayer ...

Brethren, wherever you may be,
honor the Torah we lived by
and the Psalms we loved.

Read them for us, as well as for yourselves,
and someday when the Beast
has devoured his last prey,
we hope someone will say Kaddish for us:
we ninety-three daughters of Israel.

Amen

In 1943 Meir Shenkolevsky, the secretary of the world Bais Yaakov movement and a member of the Central Committee of Agudas Israel in New York, received a letter from Chaya Feldman: "I don't know when you will get this letter and if you still will remember me. When this letter arrives, I will no longer be alive. In a few hours, everything will be past. We are here in four rooms, 93 girls ages 14 to 22, all of us Bais Yaakov teachers. On July 27, Gestapo agents came, took us out of our apartment and threw us into a dark room. We only have water to drink. The younger girls are very frightened, but I comfort them that in a short while, we will be together with our mother Sara [Sara Shnirer, the founder of the Bais Yaakov Seminary]. Yesterday they took us out, washed us and took all our clothes. They left us only shirts and said that today, German soldiers will come to visit us. We all swore to ourselves that we will die together. The Germans don't know that the bath they gave us was the immersion before our deaths: we all prepared poison. When the soldiers come, we will drink the poison. We are all saying Viduy throughout the day. We are not afraid of anything. We only have one request from you: Say Kaddish for 93 bnos Yisroel! Soon we will be with our mother Sara. Signed, Chaya Feldman from Cracow." Keywords/Tags: Holocaust, poem, Chaya Feldman, daughters, Israel, washed, cleansed, pure, purified, immaculate, 93, ninety-three, death, God, prayer, heart, covenant, Torah, Psalms, Kaddish
Benji James Apr 2018
Did more than just flip the script
Threw it in the fire
Watched it burn
Told you I was down
To sing a brand new song
Hoped yall were willing to come along
All those dark thoughts
Watched them circle the drain
When I washed them away
And every inch of me has been cleaned
Prayers under starlit skies
Now I've pieced together this life
I'm ready to start again
Postive vibes, clearer mind
this life I'm living is finally mine

I'm happier now
dug out all the doubt
Feeling confident
in the decisions, I'm making
stopped all my body parts failing
My heart was shattered
and maybe it'll never truly be the same
But the blood is still pumping
Yeah it is still running
With a little care,
these emotions that were
locked here in my chest
Have been set free
And now that I can just be me
I know I'm right where I need to be
Living this life happily

Deserted wastelands
a mere memory for me
Try not to take too much time
Reminiscing of darker days
I find my self-basking in positive rays
The sunlight shines on my face
Feel the warmth in the form of a wave
The heat that hits my skin
Heats me up within
Where holes in my soul once laid
The stitched up scars now faded
I've been rejuvenated
The torment that taunted me inside
I've erased it
Memories cleared for new images
Now a rebooted system
Refreshed, I'm ready for new heights
I'm ready for new moments
To be captured through these eyes
Thinking all these positive thoughts
Now I can share all that I've been taught
All those battles I'd fought
now on display
In this museum filled with words
These are all the things I've learned
What it took to get here was earned
And well deserved

I'm happier now
dug out all the doubt
Feeling confident
in the decisions, I'm making
stopped all my body parts failing
My heart was shattered
and maybe it'll never truly be the same
But the blood is still pumping
Yeah it is still running
With a little care,
these emotions that were
locked here in my chest
Have been set free
And now that I can just be me
I know I'm right where  I need to be
Living this life happily

Cut everyone off
That was dragging me down
Less negativity in my life now
Sure it was a little lonely
But I found the ones that truly cared
And with a little help
They raised me up
To this place, this feels like home
Comfortable in this skin, I've been gifted
Only reminiscing about the times
That truly made me smile
Childhood friends,
Achievements that made me proud
And I've been writing better than ever
I can't be thrown from my throne
Got my rightful crown on
Armours strong, demons are gone.

I'm happier now
dug out all the doubt
Feeling confident
in the decisions, I'm making
stopped all my body parts failing
My heart was shattered
and maybe it'll never truly be the same
But the blood is still pumping
Yeah it is still running
With a little care,
these emotions that were
locked here in my chest
Have been set free
And now that I can just be me
I know I'm right where I need to be
Living this life happily

©2018 Written By Benji James
Nikita May 2015
Within the bowels of these elements
Where we are tortured and remain forever.
Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed in one self place;for where we are is hell,
And where hell is, must we ever be.
And when all the world dissolves,
And every creature shall be purified,
All placed shall be hell that is not heaven.

— The End —