אודות המחבר
Yakov Azriel was born in New York and came to live in Israel after finishing his BA in English literature in Brooklyn College (summa cum laude) at the age of 21. When he came to Israel, he studied at Mercaz HaRav Kook for two years, and later on, completed an MA in Judaica, and in May 2004 he received his doctorate (on the stories of Rabbi Nachman of Braslav). He is presently a lecturer at Herzog College. He has published four full-length books of poetry: Threads From A Coat Of Many Colors: Poems on Genesis (2005); In The Shadow Of A Burning Bush: Poems on Exodus (2008); Beads For The Messiah's Bride: Poems on Leviticus (2009); and Swimming In Moses' Well: Poems on Numbers (2011), all published by Time Being Books, a literary press that specializes in poetry. Over 250 of his poems have been published in journals and magazines in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel, and his poems have won eighteen different awards in international poetry competitions. In addition, Yakov has twice been awarded fellowships from the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture for his poetry. Dr. Azriel can be contacted at: yakovaz@hotmail.com
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
יעקב עזריאל
אב תשע"ו
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
"The Lord God made a covenant with us in Horeb…." (Deuteronomy 5:3)


Engraved on huge basalt boulders
Atop the highest volcanoes
On the first planet of Alpha Centauri,
Twenty-meter high letters declare:
I Am The Lord Your God.

On every beach of every island
In every archipelago
On the second planet of Antares,
Inscribed in the sand:
You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me.

In the unending, thick jungles
On the fourth planet of Pollux,
Strips of land have been deforested
And replaced with fields of peonies that spell out:
Observe The Sabbath, To Keep It Holy.

In every oasis found in all the red, ferric deserts
That cover every inch
Of the fifth planet of Vega,
Palm trees have been planted as words that declare:
Honor Your Father And Your Mother.

On every moon: You Shall Not Murder.
On every comet: You Shall Not Commit Adultery.
On every asteroid: You Shall Not Steal.

On the bottom of the blue oceans
That envelop the surface
Of the ninth planet of Deneb,
Huge coral reefs have been placed that read:
You Shall Not Bear False Witness.

Chiseled in the ice
On all the glaciers
That dominate the frozen continents
On the tenth planet of Bellatrix:
You Shall Not Covet.

And here on earth,
In the chromosomes of every virus and germ,
Every insect, fish, reptile, mammal and bird,
Is encrypted and encoded:
You Shall Not Take The Name Of The Lord Your God In Vain.