May You See Miracles
Updated: Dec 23, 2020
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This week's parsha is Parshat Vayigash. In this transformational portion, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, Jacob and Joseph reunite and Jacob and his family travel and settle in Egypt.
What struck me in this Parsha is that following the news of the death of Joseph, Jacob's life goes on, but he mourns his son throughout his lifetime. His life is colored, or rather is devoid of color for years to come. His actions are tempered by grief, and it is only with the news that his son lives that his life can be whole again.
Most people who lose someone do not have the miracle of having them reappear in their lives. Most people have to navigate the world of grief until one day they tiptoe so slowly to see the world once again in color. I hope that these poems will serve as comfort for those grieving that one day, perhaps someday, they will be able to see life in color again and to experience the miracles that each day brings.
Once I saw life in color
the kaleidoscope of a sunrise
dripping wildflowers after a sudden rain
the muted browns and golds of the winter
the crimson of the kolaniyot flowers
hands swiftly weaving, steaming cooking pots
shepherds standing with their flocks
the olive trees, gnarled and knotted
my children running in the fields
But your coat, my son, was my rainbow
The colors in your coat
were jewels sewn together with sunshine
The red of pomegranates,
the browns of dates,
the greens of the bee eaters,
the yellows of the mustard flower.
My pride in you was dyed in those colors
You walked through world as though in a dream
Colors swirled around you
Once I smelled life in color
The hearty smell of stews cooking
The sweet aroma of loaves baking
The sharpness of smoke in the evening
The sweet smell of rain in the winter
The musky smell of sheep in the wind
The smells of the seasons as they changed
The smell of your hair as I hugged you to me
Life was spiced with sweetness
For years now my life has been gray
Colors no longer grace it
Smells no longer punctuate the air
The walls of my tent are faded
Clothing is devoid of color
Gone is the savory taste of stew
Winter rains fall gray around me
Winds blow gray through my thin skin
The sun in the sky, the moon and the stars
their lights have grown dim
The words people speak are gray in my heart
Where are the colors?
What is my life without you?
May You See Miracles
May you see miracles in your lifetime
as I have seen in mine
May you find small miracles each day
Be not passive
Search for them, for they are there
They await you in the corners of your vision
And in the heart of your imagination
May your eyes someday see past the grays
and see once again the colors of the sunrise
May you see the soft glow in people again
May their words lift you up and light your soul
May you hear the joy of music
May your limbs feel the warmth of dance
Life is a miracle around you
It is waits for you
to feel it, to smell it, to hear it
to dance it, to sing it!
See, hear and feel its glories, large and small
May you see colors again in your lifetime
Vivid reds and blues and golds
Lift up your eyes and see
Life is waiting for you!
This photo is of a gift made made for me by the talented and wonderful Karen Jarsky. It is a glorious reminder of Purim Shpiels of the past and Congregation Beth Elohim in Acton.
Genesis 45: 26-28 Translation from Sefaria
וַיַּגִּ֨דוּ ל֜וֹ לֵאמֹ֗ר ע֚וֹד יוֹסֵ֣ף חַ֔י וְכִֽי־ה֥וּא מֹשֵׁ֖ל בְּכָל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וַיָּ֣פָג לִבּ֔וֹ כִּ֥י לֹא־הֶאֱמִ֖ין לָהֶֽם׃ And they told him, “Joseph is still alive; yes, he is ruler over the whole land of Egypt.” His heart went numb, for he did not believe them. וַיְדַבְּר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו אֵ֣ת כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֤י יוֹסֵף֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֶּ֣ר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם וַיַּרְא֙ אֶת־הָ֣עֲגָל֔וֹת אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח יוֹסֵ֖ף לָשֵׂ֣את אֹת֑וֹ וַתְּחִ֕י ר֖וּחַ יַעֲקֹ֥ב אֲבִיהֶֽם׃ But when they recounted all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רַ֛ב עוֹד־יוֹסֵ֥ף בְּנִ֖י חָ֑י אֵֽלְכָ֥ה וְאֶרְאֶ֖נּוּ בְּטֶ֥רֶם אָמֽוּת׃ “Enough!” said Israel. “My son Joseph is still alive! I must go and see him before I die.”
For Barry and Berta, May your hearts see colors. You are an inspiration in my life.