The Mitzrayim of Dementia

Birds-Flying free

Mitzrayim, Egypt

Place of constriction

Narrow, confining

Where the heart barely beats

The soul gasps for air

The body depleted

Stuck in a dark past

Seventy-three years ago

A strong young man

On his eighteenth birthday

Signed up

A Jewish marine

Whatever we think we know about war

Does not come close to the reality

Clearing beaches in the South Pacific

Bloody as the first plague

These islands of paradise,

Hell in disguise

Yet, The Holy Essence was in this place

Waiting to be found

A mortar landed next to him

And did not explode

No one in his unit made it back

But he survived

His Guardian Angel, he says,

Made him a believer

Memories of the war still haunt him.

PTSD is a Pharaoh of Pharaohs

Seeking to enslave the very Source of Life

On the days he feels confused,

Disconnected from the present

He finds himself once again

held hostage

By the dark place of war

And the things he did

And the horrors he experienced

On those days, I try to rescue him

With memories of love and gratitude

while silently offering prayers for healing

Sometimes a quiet joy returns to his voice

We reminisce

He spins his tales

We stand at the shores of the sea

if only for a few moments

Singing of freedom

Loving one another

The constricted and open heart

Both part of

My father’s Torah.


Rabbi Nina J. Mizrahi, Community Rabbi

10 Nissan 5776/ 18 April 2016




2 thoughts on “The Mitzrayim of Dementia

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