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 VaYishlach
יעקב עזריאל
כסליו תשע"ז
AN ACORN’S BARREN SHELL WOULD HAVE BEEN WORLD ENOUGH
“I am too small to contain all the grace and truth which You have done with Your servant; for with only my staff did I cross the Jordan, and now I have become two camps.” (Genesis 32:10)


An acorn’s barren shell would have been world enough for me;
Curled up snugly inside its warm oak walls,
I would have peered out from my window, contented
To wonder at the world.

Instead, my acorn somehow fell into the ground,
Germinated,
Sprouted famished roots below and pushing twigs above,
Shoved aside the soil,
Emerged.
Then grew more; and still I grow, growing all the time
As one branch after another shoots up and out;
They extend their fingers, leafy, luxuriant, towards the heavens,
Higher, higher,
Yearning to seize Abraham’s stars.

My expectations had once been acorn-small;
But now, with God’s grace:
Sequoia-wide and redwood tall.