Hands of War & Peace – A Reflection on Veteran’s Day


Dad's US Marine Corp ID from WWII
Dad’s US Marine Corp ID from WWII

His hands always fascinated me
Even as a young child
They were
Steady and sure
Warm and fleshy
Gentle and strong
Capable of fixing anything
Painting a flower with a few brush strokes
Building a tree house
Even at 91
Hearing, sight and memory failing
His hand in mine
I feel safe
Veteran’s Day reminds me
That freedom can demand
Fighting hands, killing hands
My father’s hands, at the tender age of 18
Did bloody work
Clearing the beaches in the South Pacific
Even for a just cause
It bloodies our hands
And our souls pay a heavy price
I don’t know where he put all of that
But he taught me
To use hands for healing, holding and helping
To me, this is a miracle.

Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi
11 November 2015/ 29 Cheshvan 5776


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