Monday, May 02, 2005

Ashrénu, mah tov chelkénu: Heirs to one of the world’s most beautiful love poems

“Happy are we, how good is our portion,” to have inherited from our ancestors such a gorgeous piece of poetry as Shir haShirim, the Song of Songs, which we read every year during Pesach (Passover), among other times. Whether you interpret it p’shat (in accordance with the literal meaning of the text), as a love poem between a man and a woman, or whether you accept the rabbininc interpretation that this is a love poem between HaShem (G-d) and the Jewish People, it’s a beautiful work of literary art.

And yes, Virginia, there is a connection between my life as a Jew and my “hobby” as a science fiction fan: If I could find one word to describe the selfless love of Babylon 5’s resident romantic, Marcus Cole, for Susan Ivanova, it would be this—“libavtini,” you have ravished my heart.” Surely, for this man, who sacrificed his own life to save hers, “azah cha-mavet ahavah, as strong as death is love . . . “


Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Yes, but Ivanova was gay.

So to quote Edward G. Robinson (another Passover allusion): Where's your parallel noooooooooowwww????

Tue May 03, 03:03:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Now, now, PT, have you forgotten the first-season episode "The War Prayer," in which Ivanova almost rekindles the romance with an old flame--of the *male* variety--until she realizes that he's gone off the deep end, politically, since last she saw him, and become a literally murderous reactionary? She's not gay, she's bi.

Tue May 03, 06:15:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

In any case, *Marcus* sure as bleep wasn't gay!

Tue May 03, 06:16:00 PM 2005  
Blogger PsychoToddler said...

She was confused in the first season.

And Marcus was frum.

Tue May 03, 09:46:00 PM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Or shomer negiah, in any case. :)

Tue May 03, 10:24:00 PM 2005  

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