The Gibeonite, Elul 2019 by Yakov Azriel
Artwork by Daniel Kabakoff
End of Elul.
We had a hard summer this year,
Hotter and harsher than usual.
And the journey across the mountains was difficult.
For I’ve come from a distant country;
Here is my bread —
Fresh, with a pleasant aroma, when I left
But now stale and crumbling.
Here is my wine-gourd, which I had filled with cool wine,
Now empty, worn and rent.
Look at my garments and sandals —
Tattered and torn from the journey.
This is the oath I swore was true,
Full of lies and deceit.
For the end of Elul
Has pounced upon us
And I want to — I need to —
Make a covenant
With You, O Lord,
To be allowed into the camp.
Even as a hewer of wood.
Even as a drawer of water.
That after Elul
A person can fall from a cliff,
Like the scapegoat to Azazel.
O Master of forgiveness, Adon HaSelichot,
If You permit me
To be one of the congregation,
I will testify
The Lord, He is God,
The Lord, He is God.