Upon the Slaughter

By Hayyim Nahman Bialik

Published April 04, 2003, issue of April 04, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Heavenly spheres, beg mercy for me!

If truly God dwells in your orbit and round,

And in your space is His pathway that I have not found —

Then you pray for me!

For my own heart is dead; no prayer on my tongue;

And strength has failed, and hope has passed:

O until when? For how much more? How long?

Ho, headsman, bared the neck — come, cleave it through!

Nape me this cur’s nape! Yours is the axe unbaffled!

The whole wide world — my scaffold!

And rest you easy: we are weak and few.

My blood is outlaw. Strike, then; the skull dissever!

Let blood of babe and graybeard stain your garb —

Stain to endure forever!

If Right there be — why, let it shine forth now!

For if when I have perished from the earth

The Right shine forth,

Then let its Throne be shattered, and laid low!

Then let the heavens, wrong-racked, be no more!

— While you, O murderers, on your murder thrive,

Live on your blood, regurgitate this gore!

Who cries Revenge! Revenge! — accursed be he!

Fit vengeance for the spilt blood of a child

The devil has not yet compiled…

No, let that blood pierce world’s profundity,

Through the great deep pursue its mordications,

There eat its way in darkness, there undo,

Undo the rotted earth’s foundations!

Translated by Abraham M. Klein

Copyright 1948 by Histadrut Ivrit of America






Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.