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One: A Poem for the Jewish People

One: A Poem for the Jewish People


One voice against the world.

One community linked together like the stars forming constellations in the sky.

One journey.

One thousand journeys.

One million journeys taken from the beginning of time, each different than the one that came before it.

One nation, a Jewish nation,

Building a foundation with self-determination to grow stronger,

Stronger than we were the day before and stronger than our ancestors in the desert could have ever imagined.

We are a blank canvas and each journey is a colorful marker.

As we each take our journey we create pictures.

Beautiful lines connecting us, one by one, day by day,

Pictures that will show us the world,

Pictures our grandchildren will one day look at and ask stories about,

And we will tell them.

We will tell them how we aced a math test,

Won a track meet,

Won the science fair,

Climbed Masada.

We will tell them about the hardships we faced.

How we failed our chemistry final,

Wept as a loved one passed away,

Lost our favorite necklace,

Lost a best friend.

These colored lines of our journeys stretch across thousands of miles each sharing a different story.

Stories that cause others to show the love and care they’re are bound to share because life is not fair and we each need someone there.

Someone there to guide us,

Show us good from evil,

Right from wrong.

Someone to take us by the hand and squeeze tight just to show everything will be alright.

Someone who will take our hand and go on our journey with us,

Because everyone needs someone.

Someone to laugh with,

Cry with,

Share memories with.

Every journey comes with memories,

Memories and moments that last forever,

Moments created with the Jewish community that we will keep for a lifetime.

Moments mapped out on a once blank canvas that has magically turned to color showing all of the different journeys we each took no matter where we were.

The colors keep on building because the journeys never end.

We go on day by day creating new memories and new experiences.

Yes, we are one.

We are one community,

One voice,

One people.

But we are also infinite.

Shayna Lowenstein is a member of Congregation Beth Israel in Northfield, N.J., and is the winner of NFTY's 2015 creative writing competition.

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