Monday, October 29, 2018

A Poem for Pittsburgh and All of Us by the Editor-in-Chief

Pittsburgh in Memoriam 
Shmuel ben Moshe HaLevi

The gunman did not pick and choose
As he killed eleven helpless Jews
And when the law surrounded him
He turned his deadly gun on them.

This hateful man I will not name
To do so would increase his fame
May the memory of him be erased
His life forgotten and disgraced.

Instead let us commend the corps
Who bravely stormed the temple door
And fought the gunman to the floor
Though four of them were wounded sore

And pray for the community
Of those killed with impunity
May their memories a blessing be
And hatred yield to harmony. 


  1. Wow Steve. Masterful job with your rhythm, your rhyme and especially your message.

    The events that led to your poem are unfathomable. I am glad you could put the tragedy poetically into words and have those words build towards healing.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    Thank you for your kind words about my poem. It was difficult for me to write. However, the tragedy, horrible though it was, has demonstrated to me a profoundly hopeful message, which I pray came through in the poem.

    There was a time, not that long ago, that when Jews were being attacked, others in the town would rush in to help the attackers. This time, dozens of non-Jews ran toward the bullets, four of whom were eventually wounded, in order to save the Jews. That is what I want to remember.

    I found out later that the killer was wounded and brought to a hospital where Jewish doctors saved his life. "Rich man or poor man, friend or foe, of a man in distress, show me only the man." The quote is from the Oath and Prayer of Maimonides for the Physician. How ironic and yet how beautiful that those doctors were able to act as they did.




Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.