Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Passover, Passion week and the Song

I happen to be reading the Song of Solomon chapter 5 at this moment in Holy Week, and Passover time. I have read to verse 9. See if you can read with me to observe how it reflects both Passion and Passover. The Hebrew for passing through occurs twice. (Probably not significant, but I associated it with the Israelites passing through the sea.) The fragrance of myrrh (three times in these verses) suggests death. The beloved repeats 11 times.

In this section the keepers of the city strike the Bride and inflict wounds on her, even as the Church shares the sufferings of the Anointed, who has indeed come to his garden, foraged, eaten, imbibed and been intoxicated with those who are beloved. Note how the Bride completes the one who calls to her to open, yet the completion cannot be fulfilled without absence.

The door-bolt represents the barrier between the Bride and her Groom. It must be opened and is opened only through death, symbolized by the myrrh. Yet both live on, as will be seen in the rest of the poem.

Yet when the sleeper has arisen and gone out into the city, her infatuation and wandering are not countenanced by the keepers of the walls. So she is under the same accusation as her Saviour and 'the watchman strikes me with his staff, for Silly Fellow is besides himself' (Christopher Smart, Rejoice in the Lamb).

The love song continues of course. And I continue to read. The Hebrews have at least three differing words for veil, wrap, shawl, and I have come across all three - hope there aren't too many more or I will run out of synonyms in English. Do note how sensuous this is - it is incarnation. It is not 'spirituality'. It is all stuff: bodies, bruises, bones, and banquets.

Follow your passion - without damage or exploitation to others. Don't be just a critical and violent 'keeper of the walls'. There will of course, be a real cost.

What do you think - will I find the Resurrection next in this ancient love song?
בָּ֣אתִי לְגַנִּי֮ אֲחֹתִ֣י כַלָּה֒ אָרִ֤יתִי מוֹרִי֙ עִם־בְּשָׂמִ֔י אָכַ֤לְתִּי יַעְרִי֙ עִם־דִּבְשִׁ֔י שָׁתִ֥יתִי יֵינִ֖י עִם־חֲלָבִ֑י
אִכְל֣וּ רֵעִ֔ים שְׁת֥וּ וְשִׁכְר֖וּ דּוֹדִֽים
1
I am come into my garden, my sister perfection. I have foraged my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my forest with my honey. I have imbibed my wine with my milk.
Eat, friends, imbibe, and be intoxicated, beloved ones.
אֲנִ֥י יְשֵׁנָ֖ה וְלִבִּ֣י עֵ֑ר
ק֣וֹל ׀ דּוֹדִ֣י דוֹפֵ֗ק פִּתְחִי־לִ֞י אֲחֹתִ֤י רַעְיָתִי֙ יוֹנָתִ֣י תַמָּתִ֔י שֶׁרֹּאשִׁי֙ נִמְלָא־טָ֔ל קְוֻּצּוֹתַ֖יU רְסִ֥יסֵי לָֽיְלָה
2
I, I sleep, and my heart is aroused.
The voice of my beloved knocking, Open to me, my sister, my friend, my dove, my completion, for my head is filled with dew, my locks with shards of night.
פָּשַׁ֙טְתִּי֙ אֶת־כֻּתָּנְתִּ֔י אֵיכָ֖כָה אֶלְבָּשֶׁ֑נָּה
רָחַ֥צְתִּי אֶת־רַגְלַ֖י אֵיכָ֥כָה אֲטַנְּפֵֽם
3
I have stripped out of my coat; why should I clothe myself?
I have washed my feet; why should I soil them?
דּוֹדִ֗י שָׁלַ֤ח יָדוֹ֙ מִן־הַחֹ֔ר וּמֵעַ֖י הָמ֥וּ עָלָֽיו
4
My beloved extended his hand from the hole, and my inner parts murmured for him.
קַ֥מְתִּֽי אֲנִ֖י לִפְתֹּ֣חַ לְדוֹדִ֑י
וְיָדַ֣י נָֽטְפוּ־מ֗וֹר וְאֶצְבְּעֹתַי֙ מ֣וֹר עֹבֵ֔ר עַ֖ל כַּפּ֥וֹת הַמַּנְעֽוּל
5
I, I arose to open to my beloved,
and my hands dropped myrrh, and my fingers myrrh, passing through upon the handles of the door-bolt.
פָּתַ֤חְתִּֽי אֲנִי֙ לְדוֹדִ֔י וְדוֹדִ֖י חָמַ֣ק עָבָ֑ר
נַפְשִׁי֙ יָֽצְאָ֣ה בְדַבְּר֔וֹ בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֙יהוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א מְצָאתִ֔יהוּ קְרָאתִ֖יו וְלֹ֥א עָנָֽנִי
6
I myself opened to my beloved, and my belovedhad curved   away, passed through.
My self had come out to speak to him. I sought him and did not find him. I called him and he did not answer me.
מְצָאֻ֧נִי הַשֹּׁמְרִ֛ים הַסֹּבְבִ֥ים בָּעִ֖יר הִכּ֣וּנִי פְצָע֑וּנִי
נָשְׂא֤וּ אֶת־רְדִידִי֙ מֵֽעָלַ֔י שֹׁמְרֵ֖י הַחֹמֽוֹת
7
The keepers found me going round about in the city. They struck me.
They inflicted wounds on me. They lifted up my wrap from me, the keepers of the walls.
הִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי אֶתְכֶ֖ם בְּנ֣וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
אִֽם־תִּמְצְאוּ֙ אֶת־דּוֹדִ֔י מַה־תַּגִּ֣ידוּ ל֔וֹ שֶׁחוֹלַ֥ת אַהֲבָ֖ה אָֽנִי
8
I have adjured you, daughters of Jerusalem,
if you find my beloved, how you will make clear to him that I am writhing with love.
מַה־דּוֹדֵ֣ךְ מִדּ֔וֹד הַיָּפָ֖ה בַּנָּשִׁ֑ים
מַה־דּוֹדֵ֣ךְ מִדּ֔וֹד שֶׁכָּ֖כָה הִשְׁבַּעְתָּֽנוּ
9
Why such infatuation with your beloved, fairest among women?
Why such infatuation with your belovedthat like this you adjure us?
Selected Recurring Words (1 to 9)
Word / Gloss
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Vs
Stem
אחתי my sister
1
אח
מורי my myrrh
1
מרר
עם with
1
עם
אכלתי I have eaten
1
אכל
עם with
1
עם
שׁתיתי I have imbibed
1
שׁתה
עם with
1
עם
אכלו eat
1
אכל
רעים friends
1
רעה
שׁתו imbibe
1
שׁתה
דודים beloved ones
1
דוד
אני I
2
אני
דודי my beloved
2
דוד
פתחי Open
2
פתח
אחתי my sister
2
אח
רעיתי my friend
2
רעה
איככה why
3
איך
איככה why
3
איך
דודי my beloved
4
דוד
ידו his hand
4
יד
אני I
5
אני
לפתח to open
5
פתח
לדודי to my beloved
5
דוד
וידי and my hands
5
יד
מור myrrh
5
מרר
מור myrrh
5
מרר
עבר passing through
5
עבר
פתחתי I opened
6
פתח
אני myself
6
אני
לדודי to my beloved
6
דוד
ודודי and my beloved
6
דוד
עבר passed through
6
עבר
ולא and not
6
לא
מצאתיהו did find him
6
מצא
ולא and not
6
לא
מצאני found me
7
מצא
השׁמרים the keepers
7
שׁמר
שׁמרי the keepers of
7
שׁמר
השׁבעתי I have adjured
8
שׁבע
תמצאו you find
8
מצא
דודי my beloved
8
דוד
מה how
8
מה
אני I
8
אני
מה Why
9
מה
דודך your beloved
9
דוד
מדוד such infatuation of
9
דוד
מה why
9
מה
דודך your beloved
9
דוד
מדוד such infatuation of
9
דוד
השׁבעתנו you adjure us
9
שׁבע