By Bernard J. Shapiro

Look to the east to a land far away but near
To a land where prophets roam and warriors do battle
Where the river Jordan flows in mystic splendor
Where hopes are born and dreams are realized
I look to a land of struggle, blood and tears
The Land is my people, the mother of the Jew
O Land of Zion, my heart longs for you.
The soil of Zion is good beyond measure
It rewards those who care enough
To see its beauty and its grace
Past the sand and stones of neglect
The valleys blossom with the fruit of Eden
And the mountains are ablaze with color, they sparkle with the dew
O Land of Zion, my heart belongs to you.
I wandered far and searched the earth for peace
But only in Zion was my heart at rest
And only in Jerusalem was my soul free at last
To seek the meaning of the universe and all its mysteries
To ponder the rebirth of my people and our destiny
Here in the hills and valleys of Israel, my understanding grew
O Land of Zion, my true love is with you.


(This poem was written in Jerusalem in 1967 and first published
in the Jewish Herald-Voice on December 13, 1973.)

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