Page 22 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 32

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14
JEW IS H BOOK ANNUA L
familiar music of tha t other presence, “the Shekhinah of the
Homeland," as he now describes her, “looking out for her dream­
ing son.” She is that One whom he had thought dead and whom
he had vainly sought in the eyes of the world’s women. Th is is
the final epiphany, the recovered unity of People, God, and Land.
But even at tha t moment of seeming illumination, confusion
threatens; the crisis of identity is not over. The tower sways in
the storm and the narrator is lost in a dizzy round of questions,
turning him back again into the vortex of selfhood. Door and
windows are darkened and he is left in the closed world of
monologue.
What am I, my life, my People, my Land?
In my expanses, infinity’s horsemen run wild!
Who battles with whom? I t is I with myself!
The sea with the waves, the there with the here.
W ith all the force of his will he clutches once again at the
“scarlet thread” of the vision tha t has been revealed to him:
I grasp at Being like a scarlet thread
Whilst the shadow of negation threatens with his hand.
He ends w ith a prayer, wrung out of the heart of Jewish secu­
larism, bu t pointing unerringly to tha t Master of our Jewish fate
Who shrouds Himself in the mystery of time and being and
beckons us towards the future:
Great Magician of my depths, increase your forces!
My heart was sharpened on the stone of despair.
The torch I hold shall neither fall nor fade.
M ine is the battle of the God hidden in life.
I sought to bind Infinity with my hands
To hold it in a clod of earth, in the handful of
native soil lying near.
I sought to dress in garments like any man
Whilst in my veins the scorching fire of wonder burned.
Come to me, stand with me! From far horizons
Let the light be brought to pierce the darkness.
My brother, O my brother of the distant generations,
To you I cry out from the bosom of the dark.