The portion “Shelach” [“Send out”] — Bamidbar/Numbers 13:1 – 15:41 — contains the famous story of the spies sent out to scout the land of Israel and the aftermath, resulting in most Israelites doomed to death in the desert. It also includes the passage about wearing of fringes [tzitzit] (Bamidbar/Numbers 15:38), well-known as the final portion of the Shema reading in most prayerbooks.
Continue reading Shelach: A Path to Follow
Yehuda Amichai’s poem, “One I Wrote Now and in Other Days: Thus Glory Passes, Thus Pass the Psalms,” includes — not surprisingly — much language that comes directly from or alludes to the Psalms. For the stanza which begins “Thus glory passes. Thus they pass, the psalms,” the following references might be helpful. (See Temple Micah’s webpage for Hebrew and English text citations and more information.)
Ashrei ha-ish — happy is the man — Psalm 1:1
[only such reference, I think: other references I found are to a happy “adam,” rather than an “ish“]
Continue reading “Thus they pass, the Psalms”
Temple Micah’s Hebrew Poetry group (aka Amichai Study group) is currently reading “Once I wrote Now and in Other Days: Thus Glory Passes, Thus Pass the Psalms” from the book Open Closed Open. (Visit Temple Micah’s webpage for links to the text, the group and more.) This past Shabbat, we read the stanza beginning “I want to live till even the words in my mouth are nothing but vowels and consonants…” (#7 in the English; #8 in the Hebrew), and I found the connections to Psalm 19 striking.
Continue reading (Re)counting: Amichai’s Perfect Rest
Bamidbar/Numbers 12:6 is often translated as something like “when a prophet of the Lord arises among you…” However, both Robert Alter and Everett Fox note in their translations — see Source Materials — that the Hebrew here is difficult.
Continue reading Behaalotekha: Language and Translation