What do you reckon

Our lives are worth?

What do we attain

In our brief stay on earth?

All has been given

To man’s control,

To evince the permanence

He feels in his soul.


Monuments, palaces,

Buildings endowed,

Bear witness

To an existence

Of which he’s proud.

Man’s presence in the world


But what will endure

Time and tide?


The Beis HaMikdash

Built by King Solomon

Lit Israel up

Like a shining sun.

Kings came,

Paying homage,

Nations offered tribute

Its glory a zenith;


When Hashem’s Shechinah


Its majesty was gone,

It fell to the conquest

Of Babylon.


The Second Temple

Was built by Herod,

Being granted by King Cyrus;

Its foundation was flawed,

Never saw the Shechinah,

Never held the Luchos,

Its corruption saw no antidote,

Injustice took over,

Iniquity a syndrome,

Prophets’ warnings


The Second Temple

Fell to Rome.


Though the First and Second Temple’s

Treasures were immense,

Forsaking Hashem’s rule

Left them without defense;

Couldn’t be saved by the wealth

Their craftsmanship employed,

Both fell into enemy hands

And were destroyed.


By comparison,

The Tabernacle’s

Gold and silver

Were insignificant,

But their righteousness

Made them permanent.

They were never captured,

Remain timeless and intact;

One day HaKadosh Baruch Hu

Will bring the Mishkan back.


How can anything

Have permanence

When man is so absorbed

In the present tense?

Our blessings and reckonings

Do not actually exist;

Neither we

Nor our possessions last,

But we know this:


Of all we create

What is eternal, what is true,

Is a place in our world

For HaKadosh Baruch Hu;

For the Lord hath chosen Zion

He hath desired it for His habitation

To dwell among us,

Bestowing blessing

Upon His Chosen Nation.

 By Sharon Marcus