Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Updated Shomer Yisrael Video

This time the words are also in Hungarian, for our lovely Hungarian friends.

The last couple of days as I was walking around downtown Miskolc, seeing the Miskolc (Orthodox) synagogue I was surprised to find a small Jewish shop close to the synagogue that I had never noticed before and I picked up new kipot for my boys.

Two out of three kids were born in Hungary. These two have their family tree lead back to Hungary on my side. I would really like them to keep in touch with their Hungarian Jewish roots. I want them to apreciate the poetry, the music and the science by Hungarian Jews of generations past and present. I want them to cherish the language and always remember the words that follow these: "Nem tudhatom."

Miklos Radnoti: How Others See

How others see this region, I cannot understand:
to me, this little country is menaced motherland
with flames around, the world of my childhood swaying far,
and I am grown from this land as tender branches are
from trees. And may my body sink into this soil in the end.
When plants reach out towards me, I greet them as a friend
and know their names and flowers. I am at home here, knowing
the people on the road and why and where they are going-
and how I know the meaning when by a summer lane
the sunset paints the walls with a liquid flame of pain!
The pilot can’t help seeing a war map from the sky,
can’t tell below the home of Vörösmarty Mihály;
what can he identify there? grim barracks and factories,
but I see steeples,oxen, farms, grasshoppers and bees;
his lens spies out the vital production plants, the fields,
but I can see the worker, afraid below, who shields
his labour, a singing orchard, a vinyard and a wood,
among the graves a granny mourning her widowhood,
and what may seem a plant or rail line that must be wrecked
is just a signalhouse with the keeper standing erect
and waving his red flag, lots of children around the guard,
a shepherd dog might roll in the dust in a factory yard,
and there’s the park with the footprints of past loves
and the flavour
of childhood kisses- the honey, the cranberry I still savour;
and on my way to school, by the kerbside to postpone
a spot-test one certain morning, I stepped upon a stone:
look! there’s the stone whose magic the pilot cannot see,
no instrument would merge it in his topography.

True, guilty are we all here, our people as the rest,
we know our faults, we know how and when we have
but there are blameless lives here of toil and poetry and passion,
and infants also, with growing capacity for compassion-
they will protect its glow while in gloomy shelters till
once more our land is marked by the finger of peace:
then they will
respond to our muffled words with new voices fresh and bright.

Spread your great wings above us, protective cloud of night.

January 17 , 1944

1 comment:

  1. You know what's weird? This poem gives me the shivers even in English, while just a few weeks ago I said I didn't feel very strong emotional attachment to my country...maybe I do.



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