Noach Peniel




About Bereza, my native city 


I remember your landscape, and over my cheek are farewell tears 

They spilled out on your distant tombs, there abroad 

Of your burnt trunk, the winds and tempests dispersed 

The ashes on the fields and over a silent, betrayed community,  

With look ups of fright, walking over a watered blood path, 

With steps of alive skeletons, frozen of pain.  

Your atmosphere trembles for the last lament 

And clouds of smoke rise in front of a powdered man. 

I was truncated of life, you are no longer there, you are not over the earth, 

But inside me you are alive, your panorama in me is reflected 

Your happiness sings in me and  your sadness consumes me,  

From deep of my heart, I murmur for you a farewell greeting 


You rested on the plains of Polesia, your limits were signaled 

The silent waters of the Yasolda flowed, inside your fields 

And rafts weighed anchor where of and where from 

From the green forest toward other horizons 

And a white route, divided your short back streets, 

The houses soaked by the shades of chestnut trees


Each house was surrounded by an orchard 

And to the side of the fence plants and flowers grew


In your villages  Russian  and Pole peasants 

Plowed their fields, their flocks pastured on the grassland 

And their wild and noisy children, 

Chased on the fields of the other side of the monastery 

But your hearings hardly listened their voices 

As if the cross of the roof of the church didn't run off 

As if the light of the other side of the curtain exclaimed His Name 

And from the sky, a supreme and hidden light sprinkled you 


It is  Jewish divinity, she is reflected as 

A grandmother, as the smiles of a boy's face  

As the studious pupil's bread 

As the boots of the water carrier that there inhabits 

As the morning darkness in spring festivity 

A day of Av 9 from the green of the cemetery 

The sadness that soaks the fields in the month of Elul 

And the  Saturday  glorious say, the cold, and the transparent and white snow 


For the first time in your look is illuminated with the light of East 

And the dawn of the East brought me astonishment and consternation   


Surroundings somber green were lilacs flourished,  

Then sealed and hidden in the deep of my heart 

I will remember the willows near to my house, in the garden, 

In the noisy storm, and in the calm of their height. 

Flourished light blue cherry trees,  

And their fruits filled the branches together with autumn pears  


I will remember your springs on the grassland,  

White islands where still hides the ash 

Puddles that sinks under the snow 

They are happy and they shine in front of the wind. 

And slowly it descends, the river sinks on the fields, 

And it ascends day by day a colorful carpet, 

A wide green field, embroidery of light blue and white 

I will still remember the happiness and also the suffering 

My heart burned when I left for the first time; 

As a perfume surrounded me the panorama, golden, 

That will glow in my heart in all paths of my life 


And when descending summer on the fields of mature cereals, 

I liked to go for a walk day by day among high shafts 

With a celestial sympathy winked me cereals, 

And the grasshopper disappeared among the furrows 

The abundant apples waited with their greenery 

And then the fruit reddened and it gilded on its loaded branches


How good to climb to the apples tree  

And to flail on the grass under the shade 

With songs of happiness we will take a bath 

In the waters of the Yasolda, next to it's greens banks, 

We swam in the clear river, with brilliant waves, 

We leaned back on a mirror of deep water 

And during Sabbath afternoons 

We went toward the railroad 

We went away until arriving to the pine groves.


We returned when the sky in West was covered of flames 

When the shades extended on water currents who sang. 


Finally summer caresses with farewell love 

Still heats summer sun from celestial skies 

But sadness ascends, and from the fields observes 

The autumnal sadness in the gardens, the withered flowers 

Little by little clouds over the sky, it gets gray  

The field darkens and from a cloud a sprinkle drips 

Sadness and melancholy on the fields, loaded with sadness 

Cloudy waters of the river, arrived autumn 

And a sprinkle that doesn't cease, and continuous the cloudburst 

Falling on puddles of mud sunk on sidewalks. 


Lakes of rain water, cover gardens and grasslands, 

And the willows beside house, fallen and tearful  

The howl of the tempest shakes the trees 

And until  passes the anger, the houses in silence  will groan 

And covered with coats youths run 

And a humid sharp cold penetrates the blood


After the first snow, the world is transformed in white 

A white world, glowed in the horizon 

The trees of the garden got dressed of party 

And a fresh splendor whitens the grasslands 

Suddenly, froze the waters of the river, and a bridge 

Renovated crosses the field. 

How good to run, to slip on the refined ice 

To sink your eyes in autumnal transparent target, 

And by the light of the sun, they shine for me as sapphires 


The crystalline and transparent snow appears with its splendor 

The earth is a single block, the powerful in her 

Are affirmed, and the man is also nurtured 

The voices of those that go for a walk in the garden mix with the happiness 

And of a tree to other, the scream of the crow is listened. 

A group of children throws balls of snow here, 

And their laughs mixes with cracking of snow


It is good to navigate very far in a moon night 

To fly in a sled which has more rails of snow 

And they are linked in a clear night as chat of lovers, as laugh,  

The young burning vibration, as a magic song


And during generations you harbored Jews, 

Work people,  

That during week make an effort in getting their bread; 

Work and effort to see grow each son, 

Because their parents take the heavy load of sustenance 

From the sun begins to shine until hides in week days

In the month of " Tamuz " with heat, in month of " Cheshvan " with tempests,  

In the month of " Tevet " with cold 

Or in the month of flourished " Yyar ",

work, drag the yoke

They give their children daily a piece of bread 

Stopped on the scaffold and in his hand the plumb line 

Bent over in his humble work shop 

Stuck in his business, selling and buying 

Each father gives his boy with the fruit of his work 

Parents that take the sustenance in their callous hands 

For not waiting people's gift; 

Because the mothers want the daily sustenance 

And they work without pause to prepare the food 


In week days they cover their body with deteriorated clothes 

The powder of the shop and of the market fell on them 

It is observed in all Street corners during working days 

And even in their humble habitations the din is felt 

But on Friday, when it descends on Saturday when twilight 

A fine nobility invades each home, covers each corner; 

And a splendor that is not of this world, in each look 

Of the Jew seated next to his Sabbath table


I loved your Saturdays, brilliant and quiet 

The flames of  consecrated candles 

The happiness and the pride of the soul with the morning prayers 

And the sweet sadness of last  Sabbath dinner 

They even shine in me, your festivities there 

The redemption songs in the nights of Pesach 

The days of " Shavuot " invaded the greenery soul 

The days of regret came closer with fear 

The hurt soul waited the verdict 

And the festivity of " Sucot " calmed, consoled, stimulated, 

Waiting the arrival of the guests 

The flames of heroism burned in the candles of " Chanuka " 

And the giant shades of the past filled your hole   


And in "Purim" festivity entered a contained happiness, 

And with infantile happiness you forgot your efforts 


In this climate became agitated hidden nostalgias, 

On your floor a stairway with angels ascended 

In calm hours, my hearing captures your wonderful songs 

They embroidered your hole, a homeland and many nostalgias 

The shine of a rosy twilight, with Venus in east 

And lit in West a purple splendor 

A moon that spreads its delicate splendor appears 

Were discovered for me worlds, but far in time and space 

And all my life is fruit of those nostalgias 

I nurtured myself of your transparent sources, in the dawn of my days 

I will take your image in it, deep of my being, 

I won't forget them,  

And with your light I will level the road 

While the blood flows in me 


From then on I went away of your limits, 

My feet stepped the peaks and the deep abyss 

Your grace disappeared in the noise of my lost days, 

As if I didn't know your name of past times 

But when the enemy lifts the axe with wickedness against you 

Woke up my pity but I will see again all dear that contained 

I see again for last time time your lost beauty 

My eyes spilled farewell tears on the powder of the road 

As they truncated you impure hands of an alive world 

As your children were taken to the slaughterhouse by the light of the day 

Their voices still rise in their last walk 

in my hearings  sound  last screams in front of their tombs