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 T'rumah
יעקב עזריאל
אדר תשע"ז
JERUSALEM: A SONG OF ASCENTS
"They shall make Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8)


Jerusalem —
More yearning than a bride
Dressed in a white gown of satin and silk
Who sits on a bamboo chair decorated with white peonies
And raises her eyes, waiting for her groom
To come and raise her veil —
Ascends yet higher;

Jerusalem —
More resplendent than a princess
Enrobed in a heavy purple cape trimmed with black fur,
A diadem of diamonds and rubies on her head,
Sitting on a sapphire-studded throne with a scepter on her knees,
Surrounded by twelve ladies-in waiting —
Ascends yet higher;

Jerusalem —
More venerable than a high-priestess
Adorned with a miter of golden leaves
Standing imperially alone atop a high tower of white marble,
Gazing upon the multitudes of worshipers in the vast plaza below
Who sing hymns of praise, then kneel in awe —
Ascends yet higher;

For Jerusalem
Is a new-born infant sleeping quietly in her crib
Who must be awakened in order to be fed;
When she finishes nursing, I gently stroke her cheek;
Her eyes seem to focus on me; she seems to smile;
And in the silence of Jerusalem’s Friday dusk
Sanctity descends.