Vayechi: "And he lived"
Genesis 47:28 - 50:26

A dying wish

A father's prayer

Plentiful as their youth upon the hills of Canaan

Showering each with the refreshment of a spring rain

Bless his sons

Bless them all

One wrapped in the veil of honor
another with tribute of the lion's roar

And the sons of a nation gather
for the raining down of a blessing

The touch of a patriarch's bequest
as different as each grown child themselves

Waves upon the sea harbor one in safety

Is it any wonder one shall be as cunning as serpents?

Riches and freedom

Carnivorous as the wild
roaming the land with strength and tenacity

Far more than a thought or a child's gesture

For as a family gathers to release
the father's spirit into the awaiting Heaven's

Each son is blessed

Challenged

Empowered

To take up his staff to the wind and truly be

The blessing

The offspring of Jacob

The joy

Born in the father's dying rhyme

Rabbi Tad Campbell


(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