These aren’t the first
But these are the first
To become a precedent
By definition, life must
Be alive, lest it not be.
Alive means passionate,
Vibrating and relevant.
The Tree of Life, the
Book of Life, the Torah,
Must be all of the above:
It must be so today not
(Only) yesterday, it must
Be so tomorrow not (only)
For if something is (only)
Alive for a limited period,
Has that something ever
Truly lived? True life never
Dies even if the body that bears
(And bares) it seems to be buried.
These aren’t the first offspring
Of which the Torah speaks, but
(As the name of this week’s parsha
Attests) these are the first offspring
To become a precedent for all of
Eternity, even (and, perhaps,
Especially) in present day life.
So what indeed defines offspring?
And what indeed does it mean to us?
And these are the offspring
Of Isaac son of Abraham
Abraham begot Isaac
Toldot has two translations:
Offspring and Chronicles –
The offspring of one’s life;
The chronicles of one’s life.
To borrow a new-age, self-help
Infomercial tagline, we live in
A results-oriented society. By
Results do we measure ones
Success and accomplishment
And by results, or the lack
Thereof, do we measure one’s
Failure and disappointment.
Our soul descends from on-high
To down low, springs-off and
Off-springs from heaven to earth,
So that it can create results, warm,
Illuminating, living results, not
(Only) theories, or hypes or hypo-
Thetical realities, but true, real
Results, the kind that one can
Touch with a finger and feel
With a heart.
The point being to create offspring,
To create light, to create divine energy.
The voice is Jacob’s voice
But the hands are Esau’s hands
At times we may even have to
Dress up in clothing and skins
That may not necessarily represent
Who we truly are; our two hands
May become rough and coarse
From all the physical labor and
Earthly work. However, our voice,
Our message, our purpose never
Wavers, its sweetness and soul
Never changes, only changing a
Even when all of the world around us,
When the entire universe seems to
Reflect Esau, a man of the field
And not one of the heavens, know
That this too is only so that the
Offspring, the results, the light
Be only brighter and warmer.
For it is out of the challenges,
Out of the things that do not
Necessarily look promising,
That the greatest promise is
Born as in offspring
Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at jakeyology.blogspot.com
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.