some resources for exploring Psalm 30

Word-based Commentary

So far the most thorough and useful commentary I’ve found on-line is still Schechter’s “A New Psalm”. [UPDATE 2017: Sadly, this on-line resource appears to be gone; Segal’s A New Psalm: The Psalms as Literature is now published by Geffen Books.] If anyone has a resource to suggest, please share.

A number of commentaries focus on the word “dilitani” — you have drawn me up — in the second verse: it reflects the Bible’s frequent use of wells/water imagery. But the language here connotes a pail pulled up from a well, which has to go down in order to rise in a useful way. And, as R. Benjamin Segal in the Schechter commentary notes, deep contrasts run throughout the psalm.

Joel Hoffman, in My People’s Prayer Book, notes that English has no direct way to translate the famous phrase:
בָּעֶרֶב יָלִין בֶּכִי וְלַבֹּקֶר רִנָּה
b’erev yalin bekhi v’laboker rinah

He suggests “tears abide” or “weeping spends the night” for “yalin bekhi.”

Musical Commentary

Shimon and Ilana Gewirtz: Psalm 30:5, click on “Zamru-Lo” in the jukebox.
Recording of “Eilekha YHVH ekra,” Chassidic tune for Psalm 30:9,11 (click on “Local Recording”)

Same tune with additional verses of Psalm 30; SiddurLive.com includes Hebrew and transliterated text as song is played.

SiddurLive.com also has tunes for two more sections of the psalm. Each tune on this site pops up with Hebrew and transliterated text to view while listening.

Rabbi Shefa Gold offers chant and related teaching, again for verse 9.

Solomon Ancis’ cantorial rendering of Psalm 30.

Chag Ha-Bikkurim, choral arrangement, meant to evoke the giving of first fruits — one of early uses of this psalm.

Posted by vspatz

Virginia blogs on Jewish topics at "A Song Every Day" and manages the Education Town Hall and #WeLuvBooks sites. More at Vspatz.wordpress.com

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