Bricks

Our nation began its history making them, waist deep in the mud, kneading in the straw with our feet, trying desperately to fill Pharaoh's quota, lest another loved one, or just another member of the tribe, someone we didn't know, be entombed alive in one of his damned walls. When our redeemer showed and demanded our freedom, Pharaoh responded by keeping the brick quota the same, but refusing to donate the necessary straw.

Now we stand at the end of our 2000-year exile, preparing for our final redemption. The Kabballists teach that the beginnings and endings of all things are linked. Just as we began our quest for nationhood and freedom as brick-makers, I, for one, plan to do my part in bringing about the culmination of that quest by once again making bricks. On each will be engraved the name of one kadosh, who died al kidush hashem, simply because he had the misfortune to be a Jew in the wrong place at the wrong time, and fell victim to the haters. The finished bricks will be given to the family members, to keep until they're needed for a long-awaited building project, or use as they see fit.

I do not yet know how to make a brick, or how to engrave a name on it, and I certainly don't have a kiln or know where to find the raw materials. I'm just a new oleh who wants Moshiach now, fumbling along an uncertain path in the dark. So for now I'll have to start by compiling names to put on those bricks, once I am set up to make them.

The names on the following page are those that I've found on memorial signs as I've traveled between Jerusalem and Hebron and points in between. It's by no means even close to being exhaustive. I hope people more knowledgeable than myself will contact me with additional names, as well as dates and whatever else will help tell the stories of these martyrs, whether narratives, photographs, how to contact relatives (confidentially only) or other pertinent information.