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Literature and Poetry/

Levi Ben Amitai

Shabbat in the Group

Degania 2

In memory of Yosef Bavasol


The mother of Shabbat lit her candles on the table,

and spread out a white tablecloth with fingers of a disappearing hand.

From the six days of work she gathered her sons to rest and to take part in family meals.

The light of Shabbat is on the table, a shadow hidden on the walls.

Light glistens on suntanned arms and the shadow – on face wrinkles.

And whitens the shirt on the back and on the shoulder as a Tallit in an old age home.

A warm dark night –wrapped the valley scenery with the universe,

And the Kineret breathes in the rustle of soft waves.

The night song in the cornfields, and the voice of the cricket saws into the dance of the butterflies.

What shall the ancient image bring up: the seating of shepherds? the family feast of the nation? the beauty of a holiday in Israel?

Why should the heart throb in memory of the Essene party, who have lived in Jordan ever since?

And there are those whose eyes have sought out the future trees,

and there are eyes filled with joy and trembling,

and someone (feminine) whose soul was sad in secret

and her tears – a remedy.

Light is planted on the table and it rises and is enhanced:

As eyes peek – sparks are created.

The shadows flee from the wall, and the white image of a hand goes, if Shabbat disappears.

If Shabbat! Listen to the throbbing hearts

and to the silence of the lip that prevails tonight on the Jordan.

Spread out your hands over the bread of their table

and recite a blessing over the peace.

Bless the faithful, those seeding light in man's fields,

And may world – joy rest in hearts yearning fellowship.

All humans shall yet arrive as brothers seated for the Shabbat of rest.

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