In Genesis 28:11-22, Jacob lays his head on “a stone for a pillow” and dreams his ladder dream in which God promises: “…the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants” – not the case in this poet’s biography. Awakening, Jacob exclaims: “How full of awe (or awful – ma norah) this place is” – indeed the case.
The children react differently. In stanza 3, they ask cheerfully: “What is this sweet air?” much like Ferdinand in “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare (whose birthday is later this month). After arriving shipwrecked on Prospero’s island and believing his father dead, he marvels: “This music crept by me upon the waters, / Allaying both their fury and my passion / With its sweet air.”
Visit Haaretz to read the poem and more analysis.
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