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Old Jew/New Jew

‘Then from his mouth the serpent (the Accuser) spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman (who gave birth to the Messiah) and sweep her away with a flood, but the earth (the land) helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.’ – Revelation 12:15-16

The Old Jew sat downcast and pale in the ghetto, ensconced in the synagogue pleading for deliverance, trapped and unarmed and landless between the walls of torment, until swept away in the vicious flood of absolute Evil.  In the aftermath of cruelty the prayers were answered, ‘May our eyes behold your return to Zion” as the nations beheld the skeletal remains and remnants of the Jew hobbling back to the ancient Land for re-birth, and voted the Jewish state into existence again among the nations.

Then again came the floods of antipathy and slander and wars of annihilation, each of which the New Jew repelled. The rugged Land and its soil had reshaped the Old Jew of the ghetto into the New Jew muscled and bronzed by the sun, grasping tightly now the sharp sword of his warrior father David, building up the ruins of Zion.

Yet the Old Jew persists in his ghetto speaking Yiddish and eating gefilte, as if did Moses. He sweats profusely beneath his black kaftan and fur shtremel in the blazing Middle Eastern sun, as fitting as penguins in the desert.

And the New and Old evolve together, awaiting revelation of the veiled Face, and salvation of the New-Old Jew awaiting them both in the New-Old Jerusalem, like Joseph their older brother.

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Elhanan ben-Avraham
Elhanan ben-Avraham, born in 1945, is a professional artist, poet, writer and father of two, grandfather of four, living in Israel since 1979. He has served in the IDF, taught the Bible internationally, published two illustrated books of poetry, and painted two large Biblical murals in public buildings in Jerusalem, among many other works. He and his wife live in a quiet village in the Mountains of Judah.

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