Kaddish

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story I wrote a while back

Submitted: May 20, 2012

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Submitted: May 20, 2012

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-1-

Kaddish

Still the rain. A strong wind and the sea surged furious as a chained humanity. The man looked back. Memories of the horror were constant companions. Sky grey and overcast then, no sky visible but endless thick smoke and the smell of burning flesh.

Dead. Many as the drops of rain. He found shelter and stared at the raging sea. None should forget, as he couldn’t the daily arrival of trains at the camp. Frightened, ill and dehumanized people separated some for slaughter in the gas houses; others kept for slave labour and constant brutalization.

Electrified wire. Foul smelling huts and loss of friends through starvation, torture, hanging, shooting. They were not seen as human. Killed just for being who they were. Anti Semitism means “I hate you because you are you.”

The man, there amidst the fury of nature was deep thinking and learned. A Rabbi from a long line of Rabbis who had himself nearly died in one of the camps. While he watched, all he could do was watch, the long lines of people going to slaughter he had intoned ‘Kaddish’ the great prayer of the mourner.

May his name grow exalted and sanctified..”

Amen”

-2-

..in the world that he created as he willed”

For this he was flogged. Still the killing continued and, in so many countries, they knew. The man knew the other horror; all that can die within a human being while they yet live.

Still the rain and wind. The man lived alone. Nothing and nobody to hurry home for. In his heart he said Kaddish for all of them, men, women and children.

A woman in her forties joined him.

What an awful night” she declared wiping the rain from her spectacles.

Yes” he said “It just seemed to come on suddenly”

I’m glad to have found shelter”

So am I” he said “I’ve been sitting here for some time, thinking”

What about?”

The past”

I do that at times and, I try to relate the past even with all its grief and horror to now and the future.”

The man spoke about the camp. About being a learned Rabbi and teacher. Somehow he knew he could speak openly and freely to the woman.

 

-3-

We must never forget” she said “Yet, every time a human being knows the inner death I fear we are still in darkness, a different dimension of darkness but darkness none the less and yet ‘blessed is he beyond any blessing and song.’”

You know Kaddish then?”

Yes, I am Jewish too and I truly believe those who mourn are blessed, those who passed over in the camps are now at peace yet, humanity must not forget.”

They sat quietly together for some time. The woman took a Tallith from her bag and wrapped the prayer shawl around her head and shoulders. The man clasped his prayer book; it had been in his family for many generations. The storm passed, morning came and they both were gone.

 

George Coombs (507 words)

 

 

 


© Copyright 2020 Chiang Yee. All rights reserved.

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