Cave of Tzfat, Israel

By: Emily Natanova

Together we stood in the small cave
Tucked away in the undergrounds of Tzfat,
The trail illuminated only by the flashlights gripped between our fingers.

Shattered glass scattered below our feet,
decades of graffiti embroidered the walls;

speaking to us in words of Hebrew and English,
excerpts left behind from people that stood here long before us.

we began to sing.

43 bodies huddled in the darkness —
Some I knew, some I had only just met.

But it didn’t matter.

Arms linked,
we swayed in unison,
the melodies radiating through rock.

Our harmonies echoed in the blackness of the morning.


Our voices punctured the barrier between earth and the heavens
as the broken crystal glistened
and the strokes of paint hugged us tight.

There I was,
holding the hands of previous strangers,
undulating to the music of my ancestors,
in a country thousands of miles away from the place I lived,

yet it felt like home.

And I’ll never forget it.