Bible Review 2:1, Spring 1986


By Eva Avi-Yonah

If I had a little sister,

Rachel with sparkling eyes,

wooed for seven years

and loved by him,

I’d swathe myself in her mantle,

enwrap myself in her night. …

One single night! Rachel,

to taste his tender touch

till day unmasks.

One single night, till dawn.

You will be loved another seven years and more.

Red are my eyes and filled with tears, Rachel.

His glances never follow me.

But I shall bear his sons,

Oh, yes, Rachel!

and bear the harrowing memory

of one night.

One night when I was you, Rachel,

and Leah sat inside her tent and wept.

Translated by A. Koenigsberger

Reprinted by permission from Seven Gates: Poetry from Jerusalem (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Poet’s Workshop, 1985).

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