"If I Forget Thee" on Scribbler on the Roof, by Rebecca M. Ross (a fellow OTDer and contributor to Unpious.com):
The rabbi’s house. Cold white stone with thousands of years of history, waiting for the imprints of the present to smooth it into the sand that blows in the windows with the five o’clock gusts. Cold stones to cool daytime skin hot from the relentless sun. Hostility is this place. It remains God’s center and yet it is godless at its core.
Every thought creases her face and overwhelming loneliness crowds out her smile. Each day they come to her, asking for tzedaka. “You have so much and I have nothing.” And she knows they’re all charlatans, begging the foreigners who aren’t yet immune to their ruses and ultimately bringing home hundreds to families who are morally poor. She doesn’t give and they curse her, sending her imaginary ailments, harsh pregnancies, destructive children, poverty, cruelty of loss and the violent horrors of brutality. She holds her ears when she hears these words because even knowing they hold no power, they still make her shudder.