Toldot: Generations
Genesis 23:19 - 25:9

They were brothers in the womb
entering a strange and unseen dance

Who would be first to breathe and who would gain
the touch of their father's blessing

As different as the rising moon and setting sun

Esau and Jacob were conceived in the womb as one
yet stepped upon the land
as differently as a ram to a sheep

Each it seemed loved with all their heart

Beating with the lyric of distant drums
quietly sounding with innocence and vengeance

And the dance played on as hungry as a mountain wolf

Esau begged for a bite of stew

What did he care of birth rites

And with Esau's belly now full

Jacob had has content as well

Now with treachery of the hunter

Fur upon his arm

A kill to seal the blind

Jacob had his father Isaac's blessing

Changing the tempo

Bringing to a crescendo the finale of his song
leaving Esau to hunger for kind words
a father's touch and a future's longing

Brother's in the womb
strangers in this charade

Leaving one to sing in triumph
and one silently alone


(Rabbi Tad Campbell is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and pastoral counselor and currently serves with Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, Florida.)
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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES