O Israel

Retribution is the language of the dead-and the silence, as it receives the language of the dead, becomes a dead ground. Whatever you plant there will die.

Knowing me, the twig is not at war with the leaf and the branch; the cloud is at peace with the sky. Knowing me, be also at peace with your sibling and your soul.

Where am I not, O Israel? What hand raised in anger is not raised against me? Is it in destroying your brother’s house that you find me or in building it up? Is it in uprooting his orchards and ancient groves, the trees he loves, that you find me or in planting and tending them by his side? The wall you build against him is against me. Unbuild it. In the rubble, stirring and rising, find me. I will show you my face.

Put your brother not down, but raise him up instead. Meet him at the gates of Jerusalem. Lift him up and carry him on your shoulders to his holy place. Then my eyes I will give you to see. Feed not at the breast of contempt O Israel. Its milk is not nourishing. Neither is it sweet. Lowering your hand, remember I am not a stranger to your soul.


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