Commentary Magazine


Place Me in the Breach

Place me in the breach with every other
    stone,
And pound me in;
Perhaps I shall then appease my motherland,
And the guilt of a people which did not
Reclaim its ruins will be absolved.

How good it would be to know
That I am one with the stones of Jerusalem,
That my bones are mixed with her wall—
How glorious!
Why should my body be less favored than
    my soul
Which went mute or wailing with its people
Through fire and water?

Take me with the stones of Jerusalem
And set me in the wall—
Mortar me in!
Then from the wall shall my failing bones
    sing
And greet the Messiah. . . .

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