Going Home

He’s writing this aboard a plane

Suspended in the air

Flying to a certain place

Years back he would not dare

No one, I think, in his right mind

Would simply venture there

 

Oh, my friends, the world has changed

Bashevkin’s going home

To a world that Torah Jews

Had so long feared to roam

 

Four hours from Dolghinov

There is a great Red Square

Where terror and pure misery

Would fill the Jews with fear

 

Oh, yes, the town Dolghinov

His ancestor was born

Would he just see that dreaded land

Or “Never!” had he sworn?

 

For all across the countryside

Where Torah had once been

Was simply decimated

Since Nineteen Seventeen

 

His uncles and his aunts were lost

From the world where Torah flourished

But soon they were emaciated

Spiritually malnourished

 

Just one was saved

He left the town

And went away to learn

And generations Torah filled

That deed it surely earned

 

Indeed in his own family

The souls were snatched away

An old man in Slabodka

Ensured that he did stay

 

To Minsk and then to Tzitivian

And then unto these shores

His heart remained attached to those

Behind Iron Curtain’s doors

 

Yes! Miracles do happen

And often happen fast

The old man from Dolghinov said

The lie it could not last

 

Yes! Miracles did happen

A flow out did begin

USSR did let them out

And US let them in

 

And for those Russian children

He fought to open schools

Despite the mocking ridicule

That Torah is for fools

 

Not long after, all collapsed

Their Union dissipated

The leaders realized

It can’t last

As they capitulated

 

The old man from Dolghinov

Born on Russian soil

Passed those efforts to his kin

Who did not cease to toil

 

And when the time came

For revolt

The vision, it was certain

There would be Torah blossoming

Inside an Open Curtain

 

And so Bashevkin’s going back

To revel in the glory

Of Torah in a world that was

And be part of the story

 

What drives his passion just to go

And stay nary three days?

Are there emotions in his mind

That motivates his ways?

 

Perhaps he knows

If not for fate

And Providence Divine

He would have been behind that wall

Behind that thick red line

 

He’s going back to touch the land

Where he just might have been

And in his heart

He understands

He’s just a Russian kin