Yitzkhok Katzenelson: Job-Page 67, Third Act

Job p67 Act 3, 1941
by Yitzkhok Katzenelson

My life has become ugly,
I want to pour out my suffering in words,
come what may-
I will speak my bitterness!

I want to speak to Him like this:
God do not blame me without cause,
make me know
why it is that you indict me?

Are you so great
that you have joy
when you destroy,
when you scorn the work of your own hands
Do you shine in this decision of the wicked!

Or are your eyes too, so meaty thick?
that you don’t see your work as others do?
Or are your days also numbered ?
And your years counted like the years of every one?

That you search so
for my evil sins,
that you thirst so
for my crimes?

Yet all depends on you, on you alone
that I should do no harm!
but there’s no way to save myself from you, no
in my being right!

It is your hands that formed,
developed me,
embraced and shielded me-
and you who have corrupted me…

Recall how you kneaded me like clay,
and covered me with earth again…

You pour me like milk
and like cheese you harden and cool me…

You renewed me with skin and flesh
as with clothes,
sewed me and seamed me
and framed me with bones and veins.

granted me life and favor-
I faithfully obeyed your commandment.

You hid that all in your heart–
I knew you oversaw this…

and if I sinned you would remember for me,
and not forgive my sins…

And if I’m evil-
then woe unto me!
And even if I’m righteous-
I will not raise my head!
Shame will not let me
see…see my desolation!

And should my head raise itself up-
you capture me like a lion…
and as you wish-
you play with me, you play…

You turn more of your witnesses
against me,
And your rage that grows
ever heavier…
let them
attack me
again and again–
without count!

So why did you release me
from my mother’s womb?
I would have died there
unseen, as unconceived…

I’d be as if I never was,
from out of viscera, straight into the grave.

My days are scarce,
not enough,
Let me be-
and I will gain a little strength.

before I leave not to return
into land of darkness, silent shadows…

in the land of darkness utter black,
murky shadows,
in great confusion-
and a darkness is her sparkle