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N O V E M B E R   1 9 9 9

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AFTER AUSCHWITZ

by Yehuda Amichai
translated by Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld



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(For help, see a note about the audio.)

Also by Yehuda Amichai:
I Studied Love (1998)

Also by Chana Bloch:
Tired Sex (1997)

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After Auschwitz, no theology:
From the chimneys of the Vatican, white smoke rises --
a sign the cardinals have chosen themselves a Pope.
From the crematoria of Auschwitz, black smoke rises --
a sign the conclave of Gods hasn't yet chosen
the Chosen People.
After Auschwitz, no theology:
the inmates of extermination bear on their forearms
the telephone numbers of God,
numbers that do not answer
and now are disconnected, one by one.

After Auschwitz, a new theology:
the Jews who died in the Shoah
have now come to be like their God,
who has no likeness of a body and has no body.
They have no likeness of a body and they have no body.




Yehuda Amichai is an Israeli poet and the author of Open Closed Open(1998), which will be published in an American edition this spring.

Copyright © 1999 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; November 1999; After Auschwitz; Volume 284, No. 5; page 58.

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