Shma Israel

By George  Oscar  Lee (Aventura, FL)

Hear O Israel…
This time O Lord You listen!
Did You, God, see the smoke from Auschwitz
Made of innocent souls?
Or read the sign Arbeit Macht Frei?
Did You hear the moans of murdered children?

Shma Israel, Adonoy Eloheynu
God in heavens!
Where are the millions of your chosen?
Soil covered their mass graves,
Unburned remnants of holy Torahs
The wind swept with wilted leaves.

Shma  Israel, Adonoy Eloheynu, Adonoy Echod
You are our Sovereign, look at Treblinka
At stones with engraved names of the cities,
Those are countless fingers.
Fingers pointing at Your cold skies
In mute accusation of J’accuseJ’accuse… J’accuse!

Shma Israel, Adonoy Eloheynu, Adonoy Echod
Echo of our offering ricochets
From our earthly globe
To the whole universe.
Instead of Shma  Israel
We hear only Kaddish… Kaddish… Kaddish…


George Oscar Lee was born in Drohobycz, Poland. In June, 1941, he ran away to Russia, just ahead of the invading German troops, and was arrested by the NKVD.  Eventually, he was released as a Polish citizen, joined the Polish Army at the end of 1943, and participated in the Liberation of Warsaw. The author of five books, many short stories, and poems published in The Forward, Bialystoker Shtime, Slowo  Zydowskie, and Ziemia  Drohobycka, he lives in Aventura, FL.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jewish writing, Judaism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s