Arik's Poems

The following are a selection of the poems and letters that Arik wrote to friends and girls with whom he corresponded for many years

I apologise for my translation, the source was in Hebrew and sadly some of the rythm and the sound of the words is lost in the translation. I shall also be publishing the originals in Arik's own beautiful handwriting later on. Some of the poems in the original Hebrew can be seen by clicking on the pictures above them.

Arik's Menu Page

Letter to G-d

I will not say to you that which is on my heart
I will not sacrifice to you sacrifices which do not come from my very being
I will not request requests which are beyond my strength
Are you to me a tool? Are you my way to myself ?

I never learned the meaning of prayer
And of my own free will I never opened a Siddur or ordinary prayer book
Each day for me is all of the festivals!
Atonements, rejoicings, blowing of horns, the readings of judgment.

I learned to talk my L-rd
And afterwards I learned to say only that which was far from my heart -
In conversation with people and later with You.
One in the mouth, another in the heart - Is this Your way?

Arik's Menu Page

Pictures, one man and this song

to Eshel

A smile that froze
A waterfall whose waters stopped
A voice that fell silent
And a landscape that diminished
Stimulus to remembrance
Potential of a story
An attempt to convey, a failure to convey.

One man, that man whose smile froze,
Upon whose head the waters of the waterfall flowed
Heard the voice,
Remembered without stimulus
A story by himself
Tries to convey
And this is the story.

And this song, like a smile that froze
Like a waterfall that stopped in its flow
And wants to flow and to convey
In song reduces its own landscape,
Diminishing to words
But tries to flow and wash away obstacles
And to wash away and aim...

Arik's Menu Page

The following is an extraction from a letter which Arik wrote to a girl with whom he had had a political discussion in 1991. He writes in this letter of February 1992:

"Many times when I talk to people who are not of a similar opinion they say to me of the "Left" - "Yafeh Nefesh" ("Nice Souls") as a term of denigration. Or they talk about the leftist network services "Enemy Communications Networks". I have heard Avi Parchan of the Techiah Party talk about the damage that the left does to the Shabak (Israeli Secret Service). I have heard people say that because of the Left the people are not united. And an open symptom of this sickness is the cries of youth "death to the Arabs", not "death to terrorists" - but "death to Arabs"."

Arik goes on in this letter to air his views on the way in which the Nazis dehumanized the Jews in the thirties and were thereby able to commit the crimes they committed. He writes: "How could the people from whom sprung the best philosophers, musicians and poets of Europe and who invented the idiotic habit of eating with a knife and a fork and a closed mouth sink to such a level?"

He finishes this five page letter which he writes took him almost three weeks to write with his poem:

"Go You" - a letter to Abraham.

"This poem was written after shouts of death to the Arabs which bother me."

Go for you Abraham,
Go for you from your land,
From the land where you were born
To a new land.

Yes - go for you, this is for you
Not that the sun, nor the moon, and also not the stars
Yes - they are not the gods
The idols are broken - this is the time for a new life.

"Holy cows" - there already were in your generation
And you - you thought for yourself and this is your greatness
Your aim was to be a blessing
Not blessed - and think on this - the greatness
Only to grant a blessing.

Go to your land
And I - I feel as go you in your land - my land
Wandering here and there and on the land the sign of Cain?
Happily will I go into the furnace
But before that I will break the idols
And I will shout - not the sun, nor the moon, not the stars
They are not the gods.
And I will try to be a blessing!"

Arik's Menu Page

The Logic of my Heart

The logic of my heart
The battles between the logic and the heart
Are almost as ancient as
The first man who is long in the grave
Between hope and despair
Between light and between darkness
And the enemy is a friend
And the friend an enemy
There is no judgment
Because there is no judge

The logic of my heart
The battles between the logic and the heart
Are almost as ancient as the first man
There is no substitute for the snake and Eve
There are only actors fulfilling roles (obsessively)

The logic of my heart is the voice of my inner song
Influenced by strangers? snakes? women?

Arik's Menu Page

Maybe there is a place that we will reach in the end, where they will question us and show us our mistakes?
Maybe there is a place where every moment is the moment of truth and every day is the day of judgment?
Maybe there is a place like this and maybe there isn't, but if there is a place like this, why is it at the end and not at the beginning?
Maybe it's because if "this place was at the beginning we would have no need of the rest?

"This place" where we are shown where we were mistaken is found exactly at that point where mistakes are made.
"This place" where every moment and day are truth and judgment is found exactly in that place where every moment is deceit and iniquity.
"This place" which is found at the end is found also in the middle and at the beginning
"This place" is our own personal construction, our own personal challenge.

"This place" can be heaven and hell but it is never a bed of roses.

Arik's Menu Page


To experience things is not the main point of being
But it is the main point if doing
It gives a much wider spectrum of knowing
Practically, emotionally
If we didn't experience love
We wouldn't know and feel what it was
It stems from this that all experience is a journey
Which adds to and sharpens
First and foremost our knowledge of ourselves
And after that of the surroundings and situations
Each age has its own experiences
And maybe the true measure of age
Is in the number and type of the experiences that we undergo
Each experience is a new stage.
I prefer to name these experiences as a journey
My magical mystery tour to knowing

This is the ending of a letter written as a birthday greeting to a girl friend Oshra:

Moses and Eretz Yisroel - each man and his aspirations.

"And G-d said to Moses go up on Mount Ivrim and see the land that I have given to the Children of Israel..."

Every man is Moses
And each Moses has a land of Israel
To see
To see and not to touch.

Each man wants to be like Moses
If not to touch,
Then at least the people,
Arrive - touch.

I hope that to your "Eretz Yisroyal" and not after 40 years, you will arrive, touch, stay and be happy

Yours in friendship
Arik whose stomach is shouting and demonstrating and therefore he is running to the cow shed to eat toast + yellow cheese and olives with ketchup B-T-E-A-V-O-N (bon appetit)!!!

And on this optimistic note I sign off

(You see what hunger does to men!)

Arik's Menu Page

Copyright © Rebecca Bat-Raphael