The Rebbe of Klausenberg,

Rabbi Yekusiel Yehudah Halberstam,

Was a spiritual giant

Of a man.

He lived 1905-1994,

A survivor

Of the Second World War,

Never sat shiv’ah

For the 11 children he lost,

Occupied with saving others

During the Holocaust.


He settled in America

For a time beforehand,

Eventually reaching the Holy Land,

In Natanya established

The Laniado Hospital,

Turned to blessing, his surviving

The unspeakable.


Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, of Efrat,

In Williamsburg, witnessed something that,

Though a child, always stayed in his mind:

In the Klausenberger Shul

The Rebbe’s outlook was defined;

There, “The Rebuke” was being read,

The reader lowered his voice

As is custom.

But instead,

The Rebbe shouted, “Hecher, hecher!” (“Louder!”)

Let the Almighty hear

That the curses are fulfilled;

May only blessings now appear!


The birth pangs of Mashiach –

Cataclysmic, severe –

Have all materialized;

But at the end,

Hashem makes clear:

“I will remember My covenant

With Yaakov,

And also My covenant with Yitzchak,

And also My covenant with Avraham,

Will I remember;

And I will remember the Land.”


All negativity and darkness

Conceal sparks of good,

For them to reach us, as they should;

They descend to earth hidden

Under the guise of a curse;

For example, the following verse:

“Each man will stumble

Over his brother

Fleeing, as if from the sword.”

Guarantors for each other

In punishment and reward,

All Jews specific parts

Of one collective soul,

Mixed and pleasant

Parts of the whole,

May this recognition help heal

Our spiritual exile

To make all we’ve been through

Though harsh, seem worthwhile.


As the innocent souls

File through Heaven’s gate,

Enemies of Israel


HaKadosh Baruch Hu,

We know all

Is from you, still

Please give us courage

To bear Your will.

May this curse atone,

May Your mercy be shown

To those lost and injured

In Meron.


By Sharon Marcus