As the moon crescents
in the night sky
And the stars wink
Hashem’s evening majesty
And closer to home
you, with your dark eyes,
that familiar, warm, nut-brown shade,
remain deep in prayer, immersed in learning,
wearing your cloak of piety
wrapped lovingly around you
and worn proudly
like a family heirloom passed down through the generations.
You, with the gentle yet impassioned soul.
Proud like a lion – Ari – but humble in your manner.
With one purpose: to serve family and Hashem.
Your bright eyes are inquisitive; they also smile behind their seriousness
because they know the secrets of the angels,
the first order of angels who sit by the majestic throne of Hashem
serving his needs, coming to his aid.
You, like the seraphim, meet the needs of others.
It is you who answers the questions, but doesn’t ask them.
You, who seeks to share your knowledge, your wisdom,
ready to impart all with others.
It is you who comforts like a father
when you are but only a child.
It is you who brings meaning to life -- to Chaim.
It is you who breathes life into words, helping to shape them into tangible ideas,
ideas, that, too, will carry through the generations.
Avarechicha – and I will bless you.
V’yishmerecha – and I will keep you.
These words, this poem was written by me in January. I submitted it to the Passover literary supplement of our community Jewish newspaper, and it was accepted and published just last week.
A friend of mine loved the poem but did not know what to make of it. She thought it was a love poem I'd written for my husband. I gave the explanation to her, as I'm giving to you.
This poem was written with Ariel Chaim Avrech, z"l, in mind. I did not know this young man, I never met this young man, I'd never even heard of this young man until last October. But then I started to read about him, started to learn about all he'd possessed, all he'd represented and all he'd been capable of. And I began to know him.
You, too, can get to know Ariel. You can read his father, Robert J. Avrech's moving blog, with interjective comments from his mother, Karen. His parents keep memories of their son strong, alive, giving him chaim, not only in their hearts, but on their computer screen, for all the world to see. I hope you'll take a moment to see...and learn...and know.