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  • Whooshing down the icy mountain

    flew the mighty crows

    towards the small town where

    people were going about their business

    happy that the holiday was going to begin.

    Arthur took out his fiddle and tuned it

    looking around at the children’s happy

    expectant, upturned faces.

    Primed to give them music full of vitality

    and colour, he looked up and saw

    the mighty crows darkening the sky.

    His heart was gripped with fear

    Inspiration caught his playing arm

    and he started a tune

    full of love, and hope, laughter and beauty.

    The crows slowed down.

    The music continued.

    The children danced and raised their

    voices in hopeful song.

    The crows lost their way and changed,

    changed from a host of fearfulness

    into one jewel of a hummingbird

    that hovered around taking the

    nectar of hope from each child

    and adding love as he went to another

    I wrote this poem during a writing course. We were asked to bring out our dark thoughts. After some exercises that helped us express these thoughts I wrote this poem about the pogroms that my ancestors in Poland and Russia
    had to endure.

    'A pogrom (Russian: погро́м) is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centers. It originally and still typically refers to 19th- and 20th-century attacks on Jews, particularly in the Russian Empire.[2]
    Infamous pogroms include the Odessa pogroms, Warsaw pogrom (1881), Kishinev pogrom (1903), Kiev Pogrom (1905), Białystok pogrom (1906), Lwów pogrom (1918), and Kiev Pogroms (1919). The most infamous pogrom in Nazi Germany was the Kristallnacht of 1938, in which at least 91 Jews were killed, a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps,[3] over 1,000 synagogues burned, and over 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged.[4][5]'

    It is said that the reason Jewish law recognizes a child is Jewish if his/her mother is Jewish, is because when a woman was raped the child was recognised as part of the community even if the father was unknown.
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