Thoughts from Amy Brookman in response to “Pinchas and the scary friend

Writing the word “shalom” with a broken vav beats the sword of Pinchas into a plowshare. Your commentary doesn’t stop there, but goes on beating it until it emerges as a musical instrument. In other words you made me think of this poem that refers to the book of Micah.

An Appendix to the Vision of Peace
Tosefet Lachazon Hashalom
Don’t stop after beating the swords
into plowshares, don’t stop! Go on beating
and make musical instruments out of them.
Whoever wants to make war again
will have to turn them into plowshares first.
– Yehuda Amichai
p. 777, Kol Haneshemah (Wyncote, PA: The Reconstructionist Press, 1996)

And the many nations shall go and shall say:
Come, Let us go up to the Mount of the LORD,
To the House of the God of Jacob;
That He may instruct us in His ways,
And that we may walk in His paths.
For instruction shall come forth from Zion,
The word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Thus He will judge among the many peoples,
And arbitrate for the multitude of nations, however distant;
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares*
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation shall never again know war;
But every man shall sit
Under his grapevine or fig tree
With no one to disturb him.
For it was the LORD of Hosts who spoke.

*More exactly, the iron points with which wooden plows were tipped.
— footnote from JPS 1999 Hebrew-English Tanakh

— Micah 4:2-4

The broken vav looks to me like iron points or plow tips.


Additional Thoughts
What about the matter of the letter vav also being one of the letters in the Tetragrammaton?

Link to more on scribal oddities in Pinchas

Protest music: Weaponry to Symphony: An Artist Makes Music from Confiscated Guns, by Andri Antoniades, Take Part, Dec. 2, 2012

MozambiqueAK47

graphic added by V. Spatz: Photo of an AK47-become-saxophone from Mozambique, posted on Facebook earlier this year by War Resisters International

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

One Comment

  1. http://orialon.com/2014/11/14/new-adventures-of-the-magic-bagel/
    I’m just writing a children’s book that is inspired by that program in Mozambique, thanks for that post! Also, is it your translation of Amichay song? I’d like to quote it

    Reply

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