Genesis: The Beginning of Desire

By Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg | Go to book overview

VA-YESHEV


Re-membering the Dismembered

The quest for peace

Now Jacob was settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan. (37:1)

The narrative of Jacob's later life, after his return to Canaan, is ironically captioned by this opening verse. From the earliest midrashic commentaries, microscopic attention has been paid to the apparently innocuous opening -- and titular -- word of the Parsha -- va-yeshev. On the surface a neutral account of Jacob's "settling down" in the Holy Land, after twenty years' exile in Padan Aram, the verse, the verb, has classically been read as resonant with forebodings, with a sense that Jacob has fatally misread the structure, the plot, the moral motifs of his own life: "' Jacob was settled': Jacob sought to settle in peace -- there leapt upon him the agitation of Joseph. The righteous seek to settle in peace -- God says, 'Is it not enough for the righteous, what is prepared for them in the world to come, that they seek to settle in peace in this world?'"1

There is a poignant undertow to the word va-yeshev, as Rashi reads it. Quite reasonably, in the way that all righteous people do -- the statement about the desire for peace is unqualified (without "if" or "when") -- Jacob would like to settle his life, to find some measure of tranquillity after all his troubles. One might even say that it is characteristic of righteous people to yearn for such a "settling," a clarification of the turbulences and anguish of life. But God rebuffs this yearning, in a tone of strange sarcasm: "Is it not enough?" In God's rhetoric, the righteous are made to seem importunate, almost greedy, their desire for peace in this world wrongheaded, in view of the treasure awaiting them in another world.

-243-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Genesis: The Beginning of Desire
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • The Pivoting Point 3
  • Kindness and Ecstasy 37
  • Travails of Faith 72
  • Language and Silence 97
  • Vertigo -- the Residue of the Akedah 123
  • Sincerity and Authenticity 144
  • Dispersions 180
  • The Quest for Wholeness 216
  • Re-Membering the Dismembered 243
  • The Absence of the Imagination 284
  • The Pit and the Rope 314
  • The Beginning of Desire 352
  • Index of Sources 431
  • General Index 441
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 460

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.