Joseph’s Feast

Miketz By :  Michael R. Boino JTS Alum (Rabbinical School) Posted On Dec 11, 2015 / 5776 | דבר אחר | A Different Perspective

Richard Newman, tenor
Joyce L. Rosenzweig, Adjunct instructor of Music, JTS, piano
Michael R. Boino, Composer

In Joseph’s Feast, Joseph struggles with his family trauma as well as his desire for familial love. The title as well as some of the content of the poem alludes to Belshazzar’s feast as told in the Book of Daniel (Chapter Five).

Joseph’s Feast
When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to his house steward, “Take the men into the house; slaughter and prepare an animal, for the men will dine with me at noon.” –Genesis 43:16

I can hear right through you
right through your pleasantness
through your silent pleading with me
you’re pleading with me and I am waiting
for the fingers not of a person
but Divine
to write on your hearts
that I heard you then as I do now
without mercy, without compassion

but I have no balance
to weigh you in,
no tare to honestly measure
tear[1] against tear[2],
though I know you’d be found wanting
I am, too.
I am too.

[1] as in teardrop

[2] as in torn