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 VaYigash
יעקב עזריאל
טבת תשע"ז
THE REUNION BETWEEN JOSEPH AND JACOB
“Joseph harnessed his chariot and went to Goshen, to meet his father Israel; he presented himself to him and embraced him around the neck, and he wept on his neck for a long time.” (Genesis 46:29)


Joseph:
Am I dreaming again?

But this white beard, these long strands of gray hair;
These arms now so feeble, this embrace,
These eyes I dive into, pulling me in deeper;
Father;
Is this really you?

These fingers that I stroke, more brittle, and thinner;
This hand that I hold, more creased and weaker;
This face that I dare touch, more lined and paler;
This fragile neck which I cling to so as not to stumble;
This fragile neck, shaking like a bruised reed; Father;
Do you recognize me?

Let me gaze into your eyes,
Let me hold you tighter.
Never send me away again, Father,
Never abandon me again.

Jacob:
My son was but a boy, just starting to grow a beard;
And this tall, muscular man?
My son was flabby and pale from reading books and from prayer;
And this sinewy charioteer, sun-burnt, with these whip-scars on his arm, on his back?
My son had a coat of many colors, a ready smile,
Long wavy locks of hair which I could not bear to cut;
And this prince regent, this viceroy in regal attire, his head shaven,
Trembling, sobbing;

But the eyes, these two vortexes pulling me in deeper,
These two oceans swirling in blues and greens,
These eyes are your mother’s eyes,
My son.

Now I can die, Joseph, having seen for myself that you live.