And he lived


Father Jacob is really living now
even in Egypt he is alive
we want to believe
as he dies
we want to know
life, real life, full life
can happen
any time.

Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years
and the days of Jacob, the years of his life,
his two lives
were one hundred and forty seven years.
The time approached for Israel to die
so he called for his son, for Joseph
. . . [Gen.47:28-29]

His two lives were about over
the life of Jacob
the life of Israel
the man had two lives
sometimes Jacob
sometimes Israel
the giver the taker —

as he is about to die
[I am fishing around in the Torah
for the beginning of the section]
because it is closed
closed — no separation between this week’s text
and last week’s text — in the physical Torah.

Go to the poet Rashi
the eyes of Israel [we the people]
were closed because of the passing of dear Jacob
and the crafty Egyptians were rolling the story
towards slavery.

Our decline a series of events
– can we enter the story and stop it at any place?
As you may stop the movement towards catastrophe –

As we can accelerate the movement
To redemption.

O holy Shabbes Inspiration Vayechi, part 1
Maqam Hijaz

D Eb F# G

Every Shabbat is associated with a musical figure called a *maqam,
Arabic cognate to Hebrew maqom, Place.

The Philosopher Avicenna (d. 1037)
Identified 12 principal modes
Or maqamat
Singular *maqam

Ethical and cosmological implications
Signs of zodiac
Times of day and night
Poetic meter
Healings and treatments,

Each Torah portion is associated with a musical figure