Artwork by Davora Lillian
Yakov knew Yosef’s soul and did not fear
Lest, after death had shuttered his old eyes,
That strength would shed its charitable disguise
And to the brothers show itself severe.
The brothers feared, for they could not surmise
How far it was from Yosef to resent
A turn of Providence, or its instrument —
Not in that heart could anger’s drumbeat rise.
But, pardoned, they began to guess G-d meant
To teach them that those urges which still breed
In hearts not wholly righteous, do not need
To issue in ill acts. This lesson sent
Down the long centuries, has been a seed
Of merit, and much wrong may yet impede.