Judah Did You Know?


 A Prose Poem 

by Agatha van der Merwe

a re-identifying 10-Triber

A heart rendering plea to Judah for acceptance

Judah did you know?
There is a hidden remnant of people
Scattered and sown ‘mongst the nations afar,
Who discovered we are your brother, Joseph
Responding to a voice that is calling
“This is the way back to the fold.”

Judah did you know?
Bodies that were lying lifeless for ages,
Are waking from long generations of slumber,
Our hearts and ears now being circumcised
To hear the ancient Song of Moses
As in Devarim 32 it was told.

Judah did you know?
When we hear your ancient language,
Something deep in our souls is being stirred.
Tears rolling down our lifting faces
As we find ourselves responding to a seed being watered
Planted in our hearts, thousands of generations old.

Judah did you know?
This is a frightening thing to behold,
When we who are being called from the nations,
Begin to study the Torah right from the start,
Discovering just like Jeremiah told our fathers,
The lies of generations that we were told.

Judah did you know?
Not many are there to accompany us,
As we turn and do teshuvah to HaShem,
Coming forward in isolation,
Truly one from a city and two from a family
Rejected by family, friend and our fold.
as Jeremiah the prophet foretold.

Judah did you know?
For many years we loved you, silently from afar.
The reason until now was unknown to us,
When unexplained, the Spirit would come upon us
Driven to prayer for your return to Eretz Israel,
While we so longed to be one of your own.

Judah did you know?
When seeing pictures of your sages and faithful people
Holding and bending over your precious Torah scrolls
A voiceless yearning came over us,
Respect that can not be put to words,
This unidentified feeling hidden silently in our hearts.

Judah did you know?
When we saw you coming together,
For the Feasts as the Torah commands.
A longing so painful would pull us …
Hearing the joyfull sounds of your music,
Our inner man too wanted to dance with you!

Judah did you know?
Now, like children we are learning your Torah
Stumbling, questioning towards that ancient road
By a light growing stronger every day
Driven by an intensifying hunger
For this treasure so long being hidden from us..

Judah did you know?
Our hearts are longing for the faith of our fathers,
Of Moses and the prophets of old.
Your Halachah O, so very unknown to us.
Please may we take hold of your tzitzit,
As you begin to teach us as Zechariah foretold?

Judah did you know?
We do understand your hesitancy to trust us,
With your living heritage so dear to you.
We don’t look like your brothers,
Just foreigners out there, from the nations
Still clad in our former goyishe gear.

Judah did you know?
During darkness and wars that you endured,
Claiming back your inheritance in Eretz Yisra’el,
A faithful remnant of us ‘mongst the nations
Embracing the Covenant of our Fathers,
Also prayed and lay down their lives, in order to carry you through.

Judah did you know?
In the recent war fought in Gaza
We watched and prayed daily
As our hearts were crying out to you.
If only we could make aliyah,
We would have been able to fight with you too.

Judah did you know?
The House of Joseph is waiting
As Ezekiel in chapter 37 foretold
This Spirit is breathing upon us,
To take on the Yoke of The Kingdom
That we can worship Hashem together, forever united with you.

Judah did you know?
Upon us the Spirit of repentance endears,
As we’re drawn back to HaShem and His fold.
Wont you please now take our hands in fellowship,
So that we in this final generation,
Together, may be restored to His Promised Land?

by Agatha van der Merwe
17 February 2009 / 23 Shevat 5769



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