Poem: Uncompleted Journey

By Ruth F. Brin

Jacob had gone to Egypt in time of famine

and found there food to sustain life. 

Unthinking, he had accepted the power of Egypt,

like an unhappy child, had given obedience for food, 

Unknowing as a child, he had grown and learned,

heard tales of strange gods, suffered and wondered.

Then, like a youth seeking independence from parents, 

he struggled and fought for freedom. 

Like an infant who must be born or strangle

Israel burst forth from the womb of Egypt. 

With fear we fled through the walls of water

leaving forever the fertile valley of the Nile.

Self-orphaned, alone and hungry, we fled

into the empty desert of freedom,

the rocky valleys of decision.

For many years we sought the God

  Of freedom and righteousness,

Sought the way to the promised land

  Where we would build our new home. 

This is the journey of the soul:

To forsake the mother’s womb, the father’s house,

to search in the wilderness for God, 

to build a life of love and independence. 

This is the uncompleted journey of our people:

To forsake slavery, to fight tyranny,

to seek the difficult ways of God, which alone teach us 

to build a world of freedom and peace.

haggadah Section: Commentary / Readings
Source: Harvest, Collected Poems and Prayers, Ruth Firestone Brin