Ner Tamid: A Poem of Remembrance

Posted on November 1, 2018
by Daniella Mikanovsky
In every synagogue you visit across the country

There is a light, fixed in the front above the ark where all eyes can meet it

Ner tamid. the everlasting light

The flame, the bulb, which never ceases to glow

A light to represent the presence of god in this place.

Even in power failure- ner tamid has its own source.

the eternal flame never goes dark- Even when darkness enters this place.

bullets ricochet past Men, women and children,

backs turned as they face the Lord

Who dare bring this darkness??

Who dare attack these souls in prayer?

In Charleston, Quebec City, and now Pittsburgh

Who dare disturb these souls in prayer?

Hatred. Blind, misunderstanding,


Breeding in the darkest corners of our society

Feeding on the distances between us, conspiracies, and lies as old as time

This hatred

armed with an AR15

Shouting words nearly as painful as his bullets

Brought darkness to this holy place.

But in this darkness,

Ner tamid, the eternal light

Flickers through.

Barely tearing through smoke and screams

Ner tamid stays alive.

Just as we, brothers and sisters- regardless of who you worship in your holy space

We stay alive.

Our eternal flame will not be extinguished

Our fight will never falter.

Our ner tamid cannot go dark until we have banished the darkness

Keep the light burning

Keep the flame alive

As bullets of rain hit our fiery souls

We’ll hiss and sputter but never, ever die

If we stand together

As we are tonight

Not just in times of mourning

But always, forever

The combined light of our souls

Will finally be enough.

Blessed be their memories.