top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

May You See Miracles

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

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?

Mah Chayai?

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.

141 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page