As JacobLit. heel Jacob is the third patriarch, son of Isaac and Rebecca, and father to the twelve tribes of Israel. More than any of the other patriarchs, Jacob wrestles with God and evolves from a deceitful, deal-making young man to a mature, faithful partner to God. His Hebrew name is Yaakov.
responded to the news of Joseph’s death,
As Mordechai learned of Haman’s decree,
As the king of Ninevah proclaimed a fast that extended even to the cattle,
So she, too, wrapped herself in the harsh embrace of sackcloth.
Arms raised to the heavens,
tore her hair and rent her garment,
beat her breast.
Tides of anxiety, violence and despair
engulfed her world.
Strapping on her sandals,
invisible in the mass of weeping exiles,
she searched through columns of cedar
broken as her people
found a forgotten ember,
breathed it into memory, a dream.
Struggling from the rubble,
her presence undimmed but hidden as the new moon,
she stepped onto the road leading to all the worlds,
joined with the mourning women
and raised a wailing heard in every generation.
How can our eyes not run down with tears
our eyelids not flow with water
as we, ShekhinahThe feminine name of God, expounded upon in the rabbinic era and then by the Kabbalists in extensive literature on the feminine attributes of the divine.
in our midst,
journey from destruction to destruction?
Notes: Jacob (Genesis 37:34) rends his garments and dons sackcloth in mourning the loss of his son JosephJacob's eldest son by his beloved wife, Rachel. Joseph, the dreamer, was his father's favorite and nearly murdered by his brothers. Sold into slavery, he became viceroy of Egypt where he ultimately saves the Egyptians and also his own family from starvation. His Hebrew name is Yosef/; Mordechai (EstherHeroine of the Purim story and Megillat (the scroll of) Esther. She is married to the king by her cousin Mordecai and ultimately saves her people from execution. 4:1) learns of Haman’s decree to annihilate the Jews; and the king of Ninevah (Jonah 3:6–8) puts on sackcloth and ashes and commands his subjects to do so, including on their cattle.