Rivka's questions, our answers (Radical Torah repost)
Struggling with my yetzer

This week's portion: dream



Jacob saw a luminous escalator
carrying prayers to the heavens

and God stood beside him saying
I am Adonai your mother's God

your descendants will be scattered
to lands you can't imagine

and all the families of the earth
shall bless themselves by you


Rest your head on local stone
not a pillow or a saddle

close your eyes and wait
for a prophetic dream to come

when you wake do you recognize
the ceaseless presence thrumming

do you send your morning angels
of gratitude toward the skies?

This week's portion, Va-yetzei, begins with the story of Jacob's dream about the ladder planted in the earth on which angels ascended and descended.

After the dream, Jacob continues on to the household of his uncle Laban. He waters his uncle's flocks, kisses Rachel, and bursts into tears. He'll spend the next fourteen years of his life laboring to gain the hands of Laban's two daughters. On the morning after his first marriage, the midrash tells us, he was angry that he had been tricked into believing his new bride was his beloved Rachel -- and Leah responded, "did you not fool your father into believing that you were Esau?"

Leah gives birth to four sons, and declares after the birth of each that now perhaps her husband will love her. It's a poignant and painful story. (Soferet Jen Taylor Friedman has an excellent post about that this week.) Maybe next year the saga of Leah and Rachel -- and handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah! -- will make it into my Torah poem. This year, that opening story about the dream of the ladder just wouldn't let me go.


Technorati tags: , , , , .