Eulogy for Amiad

[I could not find out the name of the author of this beautiful poem, but thought it more important to get it out while the wound is still fresh in all of us. It was translated by Rochel Sylvetsky from the original m with the writer’s permission, and sent to us by Harvey Tannenbaum of Efrat. UPDATE: One of our readers, Yaakov Borow, provided the following: [The author is] אלישוב הר שלום. The referent of the Hebrew words towards the end is a tefilla said by Eidot Mizrach on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur asking Hashem for mercy. The tefilla opens with עת שערי רצון להיפתח and the refrain repeated between each stanza is עוקד והנעקד והמזבח]

Greetings to you

Elijah the prophet

I wish to tell you

That there is no need for you to attend –

The blood of the circumcision has already been spilt.

And the infant? Where is he?

Here he is – he lies before you

He is yours.

Not moving, nor stirring

Gone as he came.

Pure, perfect, innocent offering

Gone to rest under the wings of the Divine Presence

His laughter never heard

His tears never soothed in a mother’s arms

His bright sayings never uttered

And no, no one will call for him by name.


Greetings to you, Prophet

Perhaps you can bring

A measure of consolation to my people?

A full recovery to the young mother?

She whose joy has faded

With the son she gave birth to

And never knew –

Not his fragrance

Not his form.

She will only know

That within her

She carried

A young and holy life

A child of kingly spheres.


Greetings to you

Elijah the Prophet

Greetings, Peace –

But there is no peace.

עת שערי רצון להיפתח

העוקד, הנעקד, והמזבח

As the gates of good-will are to open

Remember Abraham binding Isaac on the altar.

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9 Responses

  1. Yaakov Borow says:

    I received the Hebrew poem attributed to someone named אלישוב הר שלום. By the way, the referent of the Hebrew words towards the end is a tefilla said by Eidot Mizrach on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur asking Hashem for mercy. The tefilla opens with עת שערי רצון להיפתח and the refrain repeated between each stanza is עוקד והנעקד והמזבח. B’sorot Tovot.

  2. Lisa Liel says:

    “And no, no one will call for him by name.” I think it was supposed to be a play on “ויקרא שמו בישראל”. So a better translation might be “And no, he will never receive a name.”

  3. Bob Miller says:

    This is very moving! I’d also be moved if, Israeli officials reacted to terrorist acts, bombardment, etc., without blustering about retaliation and instead actually did something effective without fanfare. What a concept! We see a lack of deterrence.

  4. Thomas Lowinger says:

    Where can we find the original (Hebrew) version ?

  5. David Teichman says:

    Thank you for the translation of the Hespid.

    Perhaps you could post the Hebrew version also.

    • שָׁלוֹם עָלֶיךָ
      אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא,
      רָצִיתִי שֶׁתֵּדַע
      שֶׁכְּבָר אֵין צֹרֶךְ.
      דָּם הַבְּרִית שָׁפוּךְ.

      וְאַיֵּה הַנִּמּוֹל?!?
      וְהִנֵּה הוּא
      שֶׁלְּךָ לְפָנֶיךָ.
      לֹא זָע וְלֹא נָע
      נִסְתַּלֵּק כְּמוֹ שֶׁבָּא
      נָקִי, זַךְ, עוֹלָה תְּמִימָה
      תַּחַת כַּנְפֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה.

      וְלֹא נִשְׁמָע צְחוֹקוֹ
      וְאִמּוֹ לֹא תַּרְגִּיעַ אֶת בִּכְיֵהוּ
      וְלֹא יִשָּׁמַע שִׁנּוּנוֹ
      וְלֹא, לֹא יִקָרֵא שְׁמוֹ.

      שָׁלוֹם עָלֶיךָ הַנָּבִיא
      אוּלַי תּוּכַל לְהָבִיא
      קֻרְטוֹב נֶחָמָה לְעַמִּי?!
      רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה
      לְאֵם צְעִירָה
      שֶׁשּׁשוֹנָהּ פָּנָה
      הַבֵּן אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה
      וְלֹא חָבְקָה
      הַבֵּן אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה
      וְלֹא יָדְעָה
      לֹא אֶת רֵיחוֹ
      וְלֹא אֶת דְּמוּתוֹ
      רַק תֵּדַע
      שֶׁנָּשְׂאָה בְּקִרְבָּהּ
      רַךְ קָדוֹשׁ
      תִּינוֹק מַלְכוּת.

      שָׁלוֹם עָלֶיךָ
      אֵלִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא
      שָׁלוֹם שָׁלוֹם
      וְאֵין שָׁלוֹם.

      עֵת שַׁעֲרִי רָצוֹן לְהִפָּתֵחַ
      עוֹקֵד וְהַנֶּעֱקָד וְהַמִּזְבֵּחַ

  6. Raymond says:

    I am usually not at a loss for words when it comes to responding to the columns on here, but in this case, I just cannot think of anything even remotely adequate to say. I can list three of the reactions I have, but I honestly do not see how what I will now say can be helpful in any way. Perhaps the feelings that are behind my words can somehow, someway offer some kind of collective solace or thoughts to ponder for our Jewish nation.

    One reaction of mine is to think about how the world relates to us Jews. Clearly, the world cannot stand the fact that we Jew exist, because our very existence is a reminder to them that there is indeed Divine Order in the universe, that one cannot really ultimately get away with doing whatever one wishes to do, that there are Divine consequences for our actions, and any man who tries to Lord over other men, will inevitably meet his doom. And so the world finds different ways to destroy us: the nazis destroy our Jewish bodies, the islamoNazis shoot pregnant women, praying prominent Rabbis, and young teenage boys waiting at a bus stop, and steal our precious little Jewish land, the Leftist professors and other Marxists play with our Jewish minds in order to confuse and destroy our intellect and the Christians seek to destroy our souls by having us replace our One True G-d with their false idol. and meanwhile, the United Nations faithfully represents world opinion, in its obsession with condemning Israel every chance it gets, while remaining silent whenever there are innocent Jewish victims involved.

    So that is one of my reactions. Another one, is the utter frustration I feel about what will happen to the family of the islamoNazi who so cruelly murdered that little Jewish baby. While I admit to feeling somewhat consoled by the fact that at least the murderer himself has now been sent on a permanent, one-way trip to Allah, his family will be set for life financially, with him considered a hero in his sick, twisted, barbaric world, with streets named after him, and I am sure candies passed around to all, in celebration. Yes we Jews win at the end because we Jews build while they shoot themselves in the foot by doing nothing but destroying all day long, and yet still, the extent to which they succeed in destroying Jewish lives, is heartbreaking beyond anything I can describe.

    And that leads me to my final thought on this for the time being, and that is, how in G-d’s Name do the parents of that deceased child manage to go on? I have a very sensitive nature, and had I been fortunate enough to have children of my own, only to have something that diabolically evil happen to any of my children, it would have permanently broken my heart. i don’t see how I would have been able to go on living at that point. They would have to put me in a straightjacket. May those parents and that child’s entire family, find some way to go from inner strength to strength.

    Baruch Dayan Emet

  7. Bo says:

    “His laughter never heard/ His tears never soothed in a mother’s arms/ His bright sayings never uttered”

    make that:
    “We shall never hear his laughter/ His mother shall never soothe his cry/ His bright sayings shall never be uttered”

    [ואני כותב בדמע]

  8. nt says:

    When Rav Ruderman of Ner Israel in Baltimore would be menacheim aveil for people whose infants died young, he would share a Tosafos that asks, “What is the purpose of a stillborn child?” Tosafos answers that since the gemara says Mashiach cannot come until all Neshamos are born, even a stillborn child helps bring Mashiach closer.

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