Artwork by Daniel Kabakoff
The image and quintessence of his sire,
Yosef, perhaps the purest spirit sown
Into this world so rankly overgrown,
Was destined to provoke the ignorant ire
Of those less highly favored, and be thrown
Into a pit with scorpion and snake
And a false-beauteous form that strove to break
His righteousness, his oneness with the One.
The vision of his father came to wake
And warn him as he wavered on the verge
Of yielding to soul’s numbness and the urge
That stirs by night. Yet all was for the sake
Of G-d’s will that from Egypt’s turbid surge
The victory of Israel would emerge.