Yaakov’s strivings began

In the womb, before birth,

Against his twin’s false pursuit

Of Idol worship on earth.


Yaakov wrestled with an angel

By the river Jabbok.

Fought all night and was injured,

When his thigh was struck.

The rising sun brought healing, but then

His murderous brother, Eisav

Provoked conflict again.


When he triumphed, o’er the angel,

Yaakov gave us a tell.

When he called the battle site Penuel,

Meaning, “Turn to G-d.”

Win or lose, come what may,

Our legacy, bequeathed in our DNA.


He was crowned as Israel,

With each victory Yaakov earned.

But, new travails would arise

Wherever he turned.

Eisav’s hatred, Dina’s abduction,

Shimon and Levi’s slaughter of Shechem,

His beloved Rachel’s death, in Bethlehem.

Yosef gone, presumed torn in pieces by a beast;

Shimon imprisoned in Egypt,

With no chance of release.


Yaakov never asked Hashem

For life to be a smooth ride.

Only that essentials to survival be supplied:

Bread, a cloak, a guarded path,

Deliverance from his brother Eisav’s wrath.


Yaakov’s arsenal: Prayer, appeasement, and war,

All conflict with each other; this shows all the more

The need for emotional complexity,

Shifting gears, between them, this world’s strategy.


The road of the righteous, narrow,

Filled with bramble and burrs.

Many tests from Hashem,

Fraught with traps and dangers.

But resolute faith and the strength each trial confers,

Will grant us salvation, as it did our Fathers.


We live in times of malfeasance and trouble,

Citadels of Democracy, crumbling to rubble.

Restoring justice, our predicament,

Against seemingly unstoppable evil’s ascent.


Though now, we see the truth,

Sinking, into an ocean of lies.

We must continue, as the voice,

That will not compromise.


We must keep going,

We mustn’t forget.

As the process continues,

It’s not over yet!

Keep the faith, and the spirit,

Stay strong, never quit.

All is from HaKadosh Baruch Hu,

Good will come of it.


We must strive, as Yaakov did,

This, the task of man.

Let us not be discouraged,

G-d has a plan.


By Sharon Marcus