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
A Poem for Parshat VaYetzeh
יעקב עזריאל
כסליו תשע"ז
FROM RACHEL TO JACOB: ABOVE THE ABYSS
“Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, ‘I will work seven years for you, for Rachel your daughter.”
(Genesis 29:18)


Above the abyss of loneliness,
The depthless chasms and vast emptiness of my father’s scorn,
You bridge me
Love.

In the oceans of loneliness,
The incessant waves of my brother’s taunts,
You island me
Love.

In the snowstorms and sleet of loneliness,
The blizzard and frigidity of my mother’s aloofness,
You fire me
Love.

In the drought of loneliness,
The dried out and cracked riverbeds of false friendships,
You rain me
Love.

In the desert of loneliness,
The never-ending dunes and dunes of my neighbors’ hatred and mockery,
You oasis me
Love.

In the fog of loneliness, the gray of indifference, the dull pallor of apathy,
You: my red, you: my yellow, you: my blue,
As you prism me
Love.

You the eyes, the hands, the voice;
You the fire, the rain, the bridge;
You the syntax, you the grammar, you the vocabulary
Of love.