Chabad House

By Rochelle Potkar

For two nights and two days, the Chabad house is the centre of the news on TV. Under attack by terrorists, defended by commandos, it feels first like a video game, but then all too real. A child amid the blood of his father, mother, and others, is rescued by his nanny and taken to a faraway place.

That year in November, terror almost won.

It is difficult to understand pushback, when grudge fossilizes and blood begets blood, throughout history.

I often think of that child Moshe, whenever my city is at its seams, blowing to dust under surgical incisions of flyovers, or wrecked by rain-havoc.


Now there is news of him returning to live in the same house, one day, like his parents.

Staying firm and fearless in a world of living love, they say he will follow in the steps of his father and mother, and become a rabbi.

Forgiveness that might delete memory, and perhaps, alter the course of history. Molecules of a beloved rife in the air, the soil, returning hope and peace to the soul.

spring migration -

praying in the direction

of home

Bodhi tree -

spears blossoming

into stipules


Rochelle Potkar is a widely published poet and fiction writer. She is an alumna of Iowa's International Writing Programme and the Charles Wallace Writer's Fellowship. More recently, she has been anthologised in The Best Asian Short Stories collection (Kitaab; 2017). Click here to read her poem Key Holes on The Daily Star.