Meir Ettinger is still in prison in Beer Sheva. Yet in honor of passover, his family has provided Hakol Hayehudi with a poem from his archives.
Shall Zion not ask the Holiday of Freedom for its prisoners?
Once again they celebrate in cuffs, the youths,
Those who ask her health and wish her best,
The zealots for her holiness and respect.
They chase her beauty and splendor,
They know her greatness and deepest secrets.
What will we tell our children at the table?
For slaves we were, and so too we remain.
Why do we not offer the sacrifice of G-d?
And place our heart towards the vacant altar.
Again we sit at the Seder table,
And fail to acknowledge all that we are lacking.
Under a pile of Chametz our hopes are still hidden,
Even after having come so far to reach this situation.
Trapped in the straits of Redemption,
Yet insisting on remaining halfway in the darkness.
Having gathered home from all the exiles,
Yet still as jackals in the pit of lions.
Having left the Soviet Union and Persia,
Yet refusing to build for Him the holy Temple.
Who remembers the Temple like Hillel*?
Even as we recite the Hallel**?
For now they are still in prison,
Next year may they truly be free to fulfill His vision.
*During the Seder we eat the Hillel sandwich which is introduced with the phrase, “A remembrance for the Temple like Hillel.”
**The Hallel is a part of the Seder where we praise G-d for his blessings.