Monday, July 20, 2009

Reflections of Solidarity-The Mother of An Immigrant

Last week, Don Juan Manuel Patraca shared one of his many amazing poems with us. In it, he shares the emotions of an immigrant and the love that sustains him even in his isolation. To read last week's reflection, scroll down.

Week Three Reflection, Rabbi Leonard Oppenheimer's D'Var Torah

In this week's reflection, Rabbi Oppenheimer discusses the historical context of the Torah's commandments on how to interact with immigrants and how those commandments are still relevant today.

"The Torah gives us a reminder - one commandment, one reminder, for every 11 years of suffering in captivity in Egypt: Not just once or twice, but 36 times, in the most repeated commandment in Torah, we are taught about our obligation to the stranger and the vulnerable"

To read the rest of, and leave a response to, Rabbi's Oppenhiemer's D'Var Torah go to the shrine and light your candle. No registration is necessary to leave a candle or a comment.

Last Week's Reflection

*English follows Spanish
Lo Siguiente fue escrito por Juan Manuel Patraca y esta reproducido de su libro “32 Biografías para Gente Sencilla” con su permisión. Todos sus poesías son escritos en Ingles y Español.

The following was written by Juan Mauel Patraca and was copied, with his permission, from his book "32 Biographies of Humble People". All his poetry is in both Spanish and English.

"La Madre de un Inmigrante-The Mother of an Immigrant"

Te inscribo estas líneas, espero estés bien, día a día
Hoy, como inmigrante estoy en este país extraño.
Añoro y siento la nostalgia de tu sonrisa
De tus religiosos “bueno días” y tacto de la bondad de tus manos.

Como inmigrante; tú no sabes cuan, vulnerable estoy y extraño
Tu mirada; que siempre me regalabas cristalina y bondadosa,
Tu filosofía y sapiencia de tantos años acumulados.
Tu filantropía, que das al moribundo hermano; dispuesta.

En este inmigrante-país me despierto y despliego la pereza,
Con fe e insuperable fervor, doy gracias a mi bondadoso dios;
Por volverme en sí, de mi muerte prematura.
Pero, sobre todo por ser molécula de su sangre y corazón.

Acá; como incontables inmigrantes, vivo en destierro y mucho miedo
He sufrido; discriminación, hambre, sed, granizo, lluvia y nieve.
En ese momento esta tu mirada angelical, que jamás olvido;
Flaqueo y tu cual martillo golpeas y mi voluntad la mueves.

Gracias mil; por tus buenos deseos, bendiciones por ser como eres
Te veo en tus domésticos quehaceres, percibo tu mirada prodigiosa.
Eres un faro inextinguible, estando en la cordillera de Everest,
Ángel, que apareces en mis sueños; rezo, te veo como una diosa.

Desconozco, que futuro espero adverso, como tantos inmigrantes;
Menos aun sé; si en este país, moriré pobre, miserable, o rico.
Cabal; yo sé, si olvido de usted, (10,000 veces) perverso seré.
Moriría en paz, porque de una humilde mujer mexicana fui hijo.

I write you these lines hoping you are well from day to day

I find myself today as an immigrant in this strange country.
I feel and long for the nostalgia of your smile,

Your religious “Buenos días” the tactful goodness in your hands.

As an immigrant, you cannot know how vulnerable and awash I am.
I miss your gaze, crystalline and gracious around my shoulders.

The wisdom, culled from your many gathered years,
Your selflessness, every present at the side of my moribund brother.


In this immigrants-country I struggle to wake and expand myself every morning.

With faith and fervor I give thanks to god’s goodness

For returning me from an early death

But above all, for being flesh, and heart of your heart.


Here, like countless immigrants, I live in exile and fear.

I have suffered discrimination, hunger, thirst, rain, snow and hail

In those moments it was only your angelic sight that I did not forget.
When I stumble, like a hammer, you strike my will to fight and I walk on.


A thousand thanks for your good wishes, blessings, for being who you are.

I see you moving to the rhythm of daily life, pervaded by your grace

You are a torch on my path to Everest

An angel that appears in my dreams and prayers.

Like so many immigrants I cannot know the hard future that awaits me,
If I dies in this country be it poor, miserable or rich,
(How I will be damned, 10,000 times over, if I forget you)

I know that I will die in peace, because I was the son of a humble Mexican woman.

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