Lent Day Twenty Six

Returning now to Zornberg, and the end of Genesis. Jacob dies in an alien land. Zornberg (378) writes:

"On his deathbed, Jacob lives the repeated shocks to coherence that his children will experience over thousands of years. In most intimate form, he suffers the blanking of meaning, the poetic crisis, that threatens to seal off language, as well as vision.

Unlike Rachel, however, Jacob's work is not to be the work of tears, but of words. He must find "other words" to accommodate the plain sense of things to human need. The disenchantments, the dry incoherencies of exile are to be the very subject of his poem. 'Not to have is the beginning of desire' ( ) Between meaning and meaninglessness, he mustfind the energy to create a world; for "the words of the world are life of the world."

The prophet Amos articulates this idea succinctly: dirshuni vi-heyu "Seek me and Live" (5:4) Out of the human response to God's absence to the unintelligible and the fragmented, life is generated. Dirshuni, moreover, means the process of inquiry, interpretation, re-membering, that creates meaning. Derisha, midrash, is the work of continuing translations in the face of mystery."

and, finally (381), Zornberg writes:
"The worlds of exile are 'not realized,' blank, unintelligible, for Jacob, as they will be for his children. But, insists Amos, in the face of devastation and exile:... 'Seek Me, inquire for Me, interrogate Me, weave networks of meaning about My hidden face.' And Jacob, containing within himself the infinite tension of life in such worlds not realized, must utter words that will merge mystery and meaning, and teach his children to speak themselves toward blessing.'

Forgetfulness leads to exile
Rememberance is the secret of redemption,
The Rabbi, Baal Shem Tov