Sunday, July 16, 2006

"Mi-tzafon tipatach haraah al kol yoshvei haaretz"

On Erev Shabbat (Sabbath Eve/Friday Night), I was practicing yesterday's haftarah (Haftarat Mattot, Yirmiyahu/Jeremiah, chapter 1, verse 1-chapter 2, verse 3) when I chanted the words in the title of this post--and stopped dead in my tracks. Even with my limited Hebrew, this was what I understood: "From the north will open the evil on all the inhabitants of the land." Here's an official translation, from the Hertz Chumash from which I was practicing: "Out of the north the evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land."

Our tradition reaches out across the centuries--and gives us the words to express what's happening and how we're feeling.

The "matzav" has become a milchamah--the "situation" is now a war.

All morning in synagogue, the words kept jumping off the page.

"Yizk'rém Elokénu l'tovah, im sh'ar tzadiké olam, v'yinkom l'énénu nikmat dam avadav hashafuch," May our G-d remember them for good with the other righteous of the world, and may He, before our eyes, exact retribution for the spilled blood of his servants . . . "

"Shomer HaShem et kol ohavav, v'ét kol ha-r'shaim yashmid, G-d protects all who love him, but all the wicked He will destroy." (Ashré, Psalm 145, verse 20).

"HaShem oz l'amo yitén, HaShem y'voréch et amo va-shalom, G-d will give might to his people, G-d will bless his people with peace." (Psalm 29, last verse)

Thanks to Ezzie's latest round-up for this link to Life-of-Rubin's post, Important Links for the Latest in What's Happening in Israel. I strong recommend that you check them out.

When I chanted the haftarah this morning, I made it a point to chant these final words with strong feeling: "Kol ochlav yeshamu, raah tavo aléchem, n'um HaShem, All who devour him (Israel) will be held guilty, evil will come upon them, says HaShem." (Jeremiah, chapter 2, verse 3)

In accordance with tradition, I'll end on a positive note, which also struck me this morning: V'tov b'énecha l'varéch et amcha Yisraél b'chol ét u-v'chol shaah bi-sh'lomecha. Baruch . . . ha-m'varéch et amo Yisraél ba-shalom, And may it be good in your eyes to bless your people Israel, in every season and in every hour with Your peace. Praised (is the One) Who blesses his people with peace.

Bi-m'héra v-yaménu--speedily and in our day.

Update: Ezzie e-mailed a number of bloggers a request for publication of this link that he posted at the J-Blogosphere blog--Live-Blogging the War & What We Can Do


Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shira - I know that in our shul when we read the pasuk about "mitzafon" could here a pin drop.

Sun Jul 16, 06:33:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I would say, "I can imagine," but since you're there and I'm here . . . Stay safe. My prayers are with kol yoshvei haaretz.

Sun Jul 16, 11:21:00 AM 2006  

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