This Place We Were Given – A poem for Parsha Vayishlach (Aliyah 6)

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And the land that I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I will give to you and to your seed after you will I give the land.

Look, I want to share this land we were given.
I really do. If my tent was any more open

we’d be outside right now wondering
where the roof and walls had gone.

This isn’t just a metaphor. I’ve wandered around
the property we were promised

bunches of times. You could spend hours
and still not make it from one side to the other

or see a single human. For such a tiny place
this promised land, there’s a whole lot of

space…

So as the different sides of our family
kept having kids and occupying different parts

of this land that keeps being given to us
in the oldest words on the oldest scrolls

you can understand the confusion about
who was there first. It may not have been us

since we were told to go there. But that was a
bunch of chapters ago and we’re just getting

set up to take a few hundred years leave of absence
most of which will be spent pining for

the old neighborhood…

Jacob had thirteen children.
Many of whom we still name our kids after

Many of whom, still live in that place we were shown
When you ask when we got there

I barely remember
It was so long ago.

These poems are offered free for your enjoyment. If you use them as part of an event, meeting, educational or liturgical setting, please consider tipping the author.

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