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As we travelled back from a London weekend

in the Quiet Zone on the afternoon express

three very young, head scarved mothers nursed

their newborns and chattered softly all the way.

At Chester they headed for the North Wales train.


Not far from the Great Orme Tramway Station,

Church Walks, Llandudno, and near St Georges,

is a three storey detached house whose ground floor

has been a synagogue for a century

and more. Lubavitch rabbis officiate.

Above the shul, to facilitate

a minyan, are holiday apartments.


In summer months there are pop-up kosher shops

and activities. Families stroll along

the promenade – the men, black suited,

with trimmed or untrimmed beards, fedoras

or keppels, some with earlocks – past the strident

evangelicals by the bandstand.


What would the Lubavitcher Rebbes –

during their century of solitude

in the shetl among the darkening forests

and the gorging marshes of Belarus,

who only knew of oceans from God’s words –

have made of Jews, their Jews, sauntering

beneath the sun and beside the sea no less,

safely and kosherly among the goyim!


Somewhere among the streets below the Orme

is the six week post-partum retreat

the new mothers were travelling to

with their unknown futures.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • John Huddart
    July 5, 2018

    Do not stop getting on trains. Poetry runs on trains! This train is a veritable time machine, and continent crosser.

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