Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Yirviun mi-deshen beitecha???!

Psalm 35, verse 9:

ט  יִרְוְיֻן, מִדֶּשֶׁן בֵּיתֶךָ;    וְנַחַל עֲדָנֶיךָ תַשְׁקֵם. 9 They are abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou makest them drink of the river of Thy pleasures.

Here, the translation of "deshen" is "fatness."  In the Birnbaum siddur (prayerbook), it's "choice food," and, if memory serves me correctly, it's "rich plenty" in the Koren Sacks siddur.

Not for nothin' we've been doing "sacrifice readings" for the past few weeks--doesn't "deshen" actually mean "ashes?"  My Hebrew-English dictionary translates "deshen" as "dust," or even, if you'll pardon the expression, "manure."  What gives?  Why would anyone want to eat HaShem's dust?



Blogger Betzalel said...

Your siddur's translations are more or less correct. See: "דשן" can have a few different meanings, based on the context. In this context, it means fattness, as in fatty foods.

The way I understand it, the original meaning is "fertilizer". The other meanings are based on it. Manure and ashes are both a common form of fertilizer. And fertilizer causes the plants to grow and fatten (therefore fertilizing=fattening).

Tue Apr 21, 08:48:00 PM 2015  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Bezalel, thanks for the clarification.

Wed Apr 29, 11:08:00 PM 2015  

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