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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Lift up Your Eyes

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

The story of Isaac and Rebecca is a love story. I have always found the image of Isaac wandering in the field a gentle illustration of his pain and suffering. Because in Torah he says so little there is much room for interpretation in Isaac's life. In these twin poems I have tried to imagine Isaac and Rebecca's first meeting and write about it from each of their perspectives. I suspect that midrashic literature might differ from my interpretation about their first glimpses of one another in that field toward the beginning of the evening. I'd like to think that these words can teach us about the comfort that a partner brings to one's life and perhaps a little about love.

Lift Up Your Eyes- Isaac

וַיֵּצֵ֥א יִצְחָ֛ק לָשׂ֥וּחַ בַּשָּׂדֶ֖ה לִפְנ֣וֹת עָ֑רֶב וַיִּשָּׂ֤א עֵינָיו֙ וַיַּ֔רְא וְהִנֵּ֥ה גְמַלִּ֖ים בָּאִֽים׃ From Sefaria And Isaac went out walking in the field toward evening and, looking up, he saw camels approaching. Genesis: 24:63,64

"Lift up your eyes

My beloved"

You walk through the field

As your camels await you

a breeze blows gently

The grass is dry under your feet

The rays of the sun paint you gold

Your robes flow behind you like waves

Your hands lie calm at your sides

Your gaze is downward

I stand tongue tied, bewitched

I beseech you

"Lift up your eyes"

And see me

Let our gazes forever be bound


Please, if you will

Look upon me gently

for I am vulnerable

Words often elude me

But my eyes can drink deeply

Eyes that wordlessly welcomes you

My heart is so empty

My soul is sinking

Fill it with your presence

Be a gentle balm to my soul

Soothe me with your goodness

Embrace me, capture me forever

oh Rebecca, my love

Lift up Your Eyes- Rebecca

וַתִּשָּׂ֤א רִבְקָה֙ אֶת־עֵינֶ֔יהָ וַתֵּ֖רֶא אֶת־יִצְחָ֑ק וַתִּפֹּ֖ל מֵעַ֥ל הַגָּמָֽל׃ Raising her eyes, Rebekah saw Isaac. She alighted from the camel

וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֶל־הָעֶ֗בֶד מִֽי־הָאִ֤ישׁ הַלָּזֶה֙ הַהֹלֵ֤ךְ בַּשָּׂדֶה֙ לִקְרָאתֵ֔נוּ וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הָעֶ֖בֶד ה֣וּא אֲדֹנִ֑י וַתִּקַּ֥ח הַצָּעִ֖יף וַתִּתְכָּֽס׃ and said to the servant, “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” And the servant said, “That is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself.

Genesis: 24:63,64. (Translation from Sefaria)

I descend from my camel

My feet touch the ground

After a long journey

The earth is solid beneath my feet

I come as a bride,

a healer of broken hearts

festooned with gold and jewels

I am far from home

My parent's protection behind me

My heart pulses, my hands tremble

I am young but I am strong

Evening approaches

It spreads its golden blanket on the field

The air is still as shadows lengthen

The camels softly shuffle

The scent of evening descends

I breathe in its scent

It calms my heart

A dove sings out its mournful goodnight

Yonder a young man

Walks alone in the fields

He wanders among grasses and rocks

I see the slope of his shoulders

The curve of his neck

He looks at me and our eyes meet

I see kindness and grief

I cover myself and my cheeks turn red

My robe flows behind me

My hands are calm as I walk toward my future

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