Paradigm shifting and Hasidut
Psalm 20: a psalm for childbirth

This week's portion: birthings


Eleh tol'dot Yitzchak

these are Isaac's generations
this is the history

but generations
shares a root with birthings

seems to me
this portion ought to begin

these are the birthings
of Rivka, tales of pregnancy

and uncertainty
a belly slowly swelling

twins jostling for space
in the family they share

someone reframed it
so that Isaac comes first

but Rivka's tale persists
she asks her own questions

I do too

This week we're in parashat Toldot, which begins וְאֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדֹת יִצְחָק / v'eleh tol'dot Yitzchak, usually translated as "these are the generations of Isaac" or "this is the history of Isaac." Intriguingly, though, there's another way to read that word-root, and the story quickly moves from the initial mention of Isaac to its preoccupation with Rebecca and the twins. It's out of that disjunction that this week's Torah poem arose.

By the by, I feel I ought to mention a brief personal note: as regular readers are aware, Ethan and I are expecting our first child pretty soon. ("Soon" as in "the end of next week.") At some point in the not-so-distant future, I will stop writing and posting Torah poems, at least for a while. If you find that you miss them, of course, you can always check out my index of divrei Torah -- all of my Torah poems from the last few years are posted there.

This week's readwritepoem prompt was a word cloud filled with "p" words. I didn't manage to write to the prompt, but if you're curious to know what others did with it, you can check out this week's get your poem on post.