" I am the L-rd your G-d who rescued you from the land of Egypt... gods besides Me you should not know, and there is no Saviour but Me" (Shemot 20: 2 & Hoshea 13: 4) . A Sephardi discussion on Orthodoxy, the world, notes, essays & other pedantic musings
This is a traditional Jewish song which we the Kav household sing after our Friday night Shabbat meal, whose title is taken from Exodus Chapter 3 vs14. When Moses asked the Almighty who he should say had sent him to liberate the Jewish nation from slavery in Egypt, he replied 'Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh' (Exodus 3,14). This is commonly translated into English as 'I am that I am', but a more literal translation is 'I shall be that I shall be' or 'Who was , Who is'.
Maimonides, in his guide for the perplexed, provides an explanation for this difficult to understand description as follows:
"When God appeared to our Teacher Moses, and commanded him to address the people and to bring them the message, Moses replied that he might first be asked to prove the existence of God in the Universe, and that only after doing so he would be able to announce to them that God had sent him. For all men, with few exceptions, were ignorant of the existence of God; their highest thoughts did not extend beyond the heavenly sphere, its forms or its influences. They could not yet emancipate themselves from sensation, and had not yet attained to any intellectual perfection. Then God taught Moses how to teach them, and how to establish amongst them the belief in the existence of Himself, namely, by saying Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, a name derived from the verb hayah in the sense of "existing," for the verb hayah denotes "to be," and in Hebrew no difference is made between the verbs "to be" and "to exist." The principal point in this phrase is that the same word which denotes "existence," is repeated as an attribute. The word asher, "that," corresponds to the Arabic illadi and illati, and is an incomplete noun that must be completed by another noun; it may be considered as the subject of the predicate which follows. The first noun which is to be described is ehyeh; the second, by which the first is described, is likewise ehyeh, the identical word, as if to show that the object which is to be described and the attribute by which it is described are in this case necessarily identical. This is, therefore, the expression of the idea that God exists, but not in the ordinary sense of the term; or, in other words, He is "the existing Being which is the existing Being," that is to say, the Being whose existence is absolute. The proof which he was to give consisted in demonstrating that there is a Being of absolute existence, that has never been and never will be without existence."
The song's English lyrics can be translated as follows :
'WHO WAS and WHO IS, desire Your people, listen to my prayer from your holy abode
Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x) Have mercy, my Only One, Who spares those who oppose you, shorten my exile, for I lean on You
Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x)
WHO WAS and WHO IS, desire Your people, listen to my prayer from your holy abode
Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x) Have mercy, my Only One, Who spares those who oppose you, shorten my exile, for I lean on You Chorus: Behold I yearn for Your Temple, to see the greatness of Your strength, splendor, and glory (2x)'
This version is lead by the late and great Ofra Haza, a well know Israeli-Yemenite Jewish singer
Younger viewerss will have to excuse the '70's fashion!
This version is helpful because it has English sub-titles :
Much to my delight and interest, I read last week that a group of influential Islamic scholars have issued a ruling (Fatwa), regarding space travel in general and colonising Mars in particular. It appears that our friends in the religion of piece have decried the very idea of mankind reaching beyond our small planet and exploring for ourselves the wonder of G-d's created cosmos. No problem!
Of course one excepts that if us Jews had a hand in colonising the red planet and as Israeli water desalination ,farming,irrigation & taming of the Negev desert shows, we'd make it quickly habitable.
From this :
To this :
Although I cannot help but think if that ever happened, there would a chorus of leftie liberals in one corner and Jew haters in another, claiming that they were all there 'first' and it is really 'their' land which is 'occupied territory' conned by 'cunning Zionists' or whatever their propaganda comes out with, which would, of course, be after all the hard work has been done....
This is an old Sephardi love poem, put to music. I won't translate, as a literal translation gets lost in English. Enjoy the rhythm of the song; I've include 2 videos as the tunes are slightly different, but I enjoy both.
Morena me llaman, yo blanca naci, de pasear, galana, mi color perdi.
D'aquellas ventanicas, m'arronjan flechas. Si son de amores, Vengan derechas.
Vestido de verde
y de alteli. Qu'ansi dize la novia con el chelibi.
Escalerica le hizo de oro y de marfil. Para que suba el novio
So this is my blog and this is my first post . So everyone is clear about this blog, I have decided that it will be helpful to lay out a few points, so everyone is clear about this place -
1. Who are you- an Orthodox Jew, married 40 something of Iraqi and British descent, living in Great Britain.
2. What is this blog about ?- Judaism and how a Jew can and should actively engage this world, without loosing their Jewish practice, identity or beliefs. I make claim to fame or to be particularly learned. This is my own 'raw' account, I'm not a mini-Pope, so I may be wrong on some of my views. But that's life.
3. Who is it aimed at? - Broadly speaking anyone who wishes to read it, but specifically this is a blog for my family and friends, so we can help each other in practicing our faith.
4.Can I comment? -Yes. If you wish to swim in the deep end of this blog, great, I welcome intelligent and erudite discussion. If you prefer shallower waters, please note there is to be no shouting, running or piddling in that section thereof, unless you do so in a witty way and one which does not upset people.
5. Will you do anything about food? -Yes, if I can get one of my sisters or brothers to post about it.
Right, now we've got all that done and over with, time for the first topic of this blog.