February 3, 2003
He was all of us
And he knew he was all of us.
He felt it to the bone.
As Colonel Ramon pierced the firmament of planet earth
reaching yet higher, past his home, upward to enter the endless heavens
he held his mother's hand,
and his father's
and his grandparents'.
All their memories and memorabilia, their suffering and their victory.
He held my hand, too, and the hand of every one of us that ever was
and he held all the millennia of our people as living objects in his
Not sefardi, not ashkenazi
Not secular, not ultra-orthodox
Not north, not south, not West Bank, not Diaspora
And in that final moment of a space pilot's glory
as the Unfathomable One stretched forth his arm in embrace
as the stars made room for him in the heavens
In that ultimate moment of supreme oneness,
in awe, through his lips the Eternal Jew uttered,
"Listen, Israel, the Source of Being, our G-d, the Source of Being is
And the vast emptiness beyond
echoed an awesome voice,
"Who is like Your people, Israel! A nation of oneness
upon the earth."
There is hope, for we are one.
There is hope for all our planet earth.
By Tzvi Freeman