Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A new year starts tomorrow at sunset

It is a window that shows a door, a door to what I think is called a sheepfold.
It is one in a series of stained glass windows in the small synagogue in Hechal Shlomo in Jerusalem.

The Rosh Hashana window (please do enlarge it) quotes from the moving and powerful piyyut (liturgical poem) Unetaneh Tokef which is sung in every synagogue both on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

כָל בָּאֵי עולָם יַעַבְרוּן לְפָנֶיךָ כִּבְנֵי מָרון. כְּבַקָּרַת רועֶה עֶדְרו. מַעֲבִיר צאנו תַּחַת שִׁבְטו .כֵּן תַּעֲבִיר וְתִסְפּר וְתִמְנֶה וְתִפְקד נֶפֶשׁ כָּל חָי. וְתַחְתּךְ קִצְבָה לְכָל בְּרִיּותֶיךָ. וְתִכְתּב אֶת גְּזַר דִּינָם:
בְּראשׁ הַשָּׁנָה יִכָּתֵבוּן וּבְיום צום כִּפּוּר יֵחָתֵמוּן כַּמָּה יַעַבְרוּן וְכַמָּה יִבָּרֵאוּן מִי יִחְיֶה וּמִי יָמוּת. מִי בְקִצּו וּמִי לא בְקִצּו מִי בַמַּיִם. וּמִי בָאֵשׁ מִי בַחֶרֶב. וּמִי בַחַיָּה מִי בָרָעָב. וּמִי בַצָּמָא מִי בָרַעַשׁ. וּמִי בַמַּגֵּפָה מִי בַחֲנִיקָה וּמִי בַסְּקִילָה מִי יָנוּחַ וּמִי יָנוּעַ מִי יִשָּׁקֵט וּמִי יִטָּרֵף מִי יִשָּׁלֵו. וּמִי יִתְיַסָּר מִי יֵעָנִי. וּמִי יֵעָשֵׁר מִי יִשָּׁפֵל. וּמִי יָרוּם וּתְשׁוּבָה וּתְפִלָּה וּצְדָקָה מַעֲבִירִין אֶת רעַ הַגְּזֵרָה

"All mankind will pass before You like members of the flock.
Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living;
and You shall apportion the fixed needs of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict. "

The piyyut is traditionally attributed to a medieval Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, who spoke the words while he was being martyred. More here.
You can read its translation in the ArtScroll Machzor.
Here is part of it:
"On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed
how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created;
who will live and who will die;
who will die at his predestined time and who before his time;
who by water and who by fire,
who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst,
who by storm, who by plague,
who by strangulation, and who by stoning.
Who will rest and who will wander,
who will live in harmony and who will be harried,
who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer,
who will be impoverished and who will be enriched,
who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

[tshuvah, tfilah, tzedaka]
Remove the evil of the Decree!

Don't you love that idea that by our re-turning, praying, and doing acts of kindness we can change everything?!

(Reposted from last year. This time it is for Monday Doorways and Our World Tuesday.)


Robin said...

Beautiful window.

Shana tova my friend, may you and yours be inscribed for all things good.

crystal said...

The window is beautiful. Interesting that there's a windmill in it. The story about Rabbi Amnon is so awful, and sadly representative of much of Catholicism's historical treatment of those Jewish :(

Spiderdama said...

That last you write must be the very best idea!
Be blessed in everything you do!:-)

Sara Lorayne said...

Chag Sameach, Dina. That is indeed a beautiful window and so is the message of the song...

Leif Hagen said...

Enlightening for us about your special holiday tomorrow! Thanks, Dina!
Do join us for a piece of cyber birthday cake tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Life felt better after reading this.

May you step into a great new year.

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Awesome photo and very wonderful post ~ thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor, USA)

Louis la Vache said...

Very fine, Dina.
Shalom and happy new year to you!

Kay said...

I wish you a peaceful Rosh Hashana Dina. Sending you lots of love from Illinois.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I'm a great believer in 'acts of kindness' they can be at times life-saving. The glass window is wonderful, I hope you have a peaceful and happy New Year Dina.

Reader Wil said...

Blessed Rosh Hashana, Dina!

Yes,I love that idea that by our re-turning, praying, and doing acts of kindness we can change everything! It's exactly what my youngest daughter believes. She believes that we have to build up a good karma.I believe that God grants me the time to improve daily.
Thanks for sharing this prayer and for showing that beautiful window.

Suzanne said...

Beautiful entry Dina. Shanah Tovah and peace to Jerusalem.

Arija said...

Simple acts of kindness can be so powerful. A great post Dina.

Travelogue for the Universe said...

Thanks you for the beautiful stained glass image and the lessons. Have a wonderful new year! mary

Ann said...

what a beautiful stained window.