Early man swung axes

In animal skins,

But relevant human

History really begins

When readiness to receive

G-d’s law appears,

With the Hebrew calendar

Spanning six thousand years.


If it were millions of years,

We couldn’t connect –

No memory, essentially

No effect;

Our struggles, victories, inconsequential,

Our very existence, incidental,

Faceless, subject

To the winds of chance,

Lives meaning nothing

In time’s vast expanse.


Your grandparents have stories

That can track

Life lessons learned,

Generations back;

They carry the experiences

Faith and grit revealed

Of their own grandparents’

Trials and ordeals.

A fair percent of six thousand,

Several hundred years

Our journey continues,

Because they persevered.


Yaakov went back for small jars,

Seems insignificant;

These jars held the oil

Of his Charan monument.

Rabbi Shlomo Luria,

The Maharshal,

Connects these “small” jars

To the Chanukah miracle!

For returning in His Honor,

HaKadosh Baruch Hu expends

A sealed jar of oil

To the Chasmoneans!


The wolf’s eyes

Look to the forest;

No matter how well-fed,

Eisav’s wealth couldn’t

Quell his drive

To see his brother Yaakov dead.


Hashem sent down an angel,

The champion of Eisav,

To stake his claim to overrule

In battle with Yaakov.

The battle was ferocious,

An historic milestone;

The dust of their struggle

Reached the heavenly throne;

Yaakov emerged victorious,

Though wounded in his hip,

But until the angel blessed him,

Yaakov held him in his grip.

He vindicated Yaakov

Before taking flight;

Yaakov’s name now Israel,

The blessings his, by right.


Edom is alive and well –

Amalek, his prodigy –

Still sworn to wipe out Yaakov

From the river to the sea.


We must never despair,

Our prayer is precious to Hashem;

We are Yaakov’s children,

Our lot is with them.


Six thousand years

To Hashem are nothing;

The message to us, paramount:

All we do in life matters,

Each one of us counts!

By Sharon Marcus