Ukrainian soldier holds in his hand the yellow-blue flag of the state, he pressed his hand to his chest, concept of the memory of the dead soldiers, close up

At the risk of sounding trite, I submit to you the first part of a poem that was the thematic centerpiece of a literature course I took in college. As it was 1973, things looked bleak here in America, with an unpopular war raging on in Vietnam and an American president facing an uncertain future due to corruption and criminal malfeasance.

The current situation in Eastern Europe is disturbing on many levels – not that prior wars and invasions weren’t troubling. The incessant news coverage detailing atrocities and destruction is not helping our stress levels. One could reasonably argue that the media is covering the war so closely because it involves white people.

Still, it is a horror. My grandmother emigrated from the town where ten people were shot and killed while waiting on a bread line. Cruelty is the point. Many Jews have mixed feelings regarding the situation in Ukraine, due to the fact that many of our ancestors were violently chased from that country by the Ukrainians, Russians and Germans. Yet, watching the daily roster of bombings and murders is chilling to us thousands of miles away. Imagine if we lived next door in Poland, the Baltics, or the Balkans. On several levels, it feels like the world is coming apart.

 

The Second ComingBy WB Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.