Sunday, May 20, 2012

"A parched land, weary, without water"

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The beautiful Psalm 63 today, joining PsalmChallenge in Athens.

1. A psalm. Of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah.

2. God, You are my Deity; I seek You—my soul thirsts for You, my body yearns for You, in a parched land, weary, without water.

3. Yes, I envision You in the sanctuary, beholding Your might and Your glory.
4. For Your loving-kindness is better than life. My lips glorify You.
5. Yes, I will bless You all my life; invoking Your name, I lift up my hands.
6. My soul is sated as with rich food, with lips of joy my mouth praises.
7. When I recall You, upon my bedding, I meditate upon You through the watches of the night.
8. For You are my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing with joy;
9. my soul pursues You; it is I whom Your right hand supports.

10. And as for them, those who seek my soul for ruin—may they end up in the depths of the earth.
11. May they be spilled by the sword; may they be repast for jackals.

12. And as for the king, may he rejoice in God. All who swear by Him shall merit praise, for the mouth of liars will be muzzled.
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Photos
1. The Judean Wilderness. The sign on the fence warns "DANGER -- MINES!"
2. A jackal in my neighborhood. Photo by friend Kristine Schnarr.
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Translation by Rabbi Benjamin Segal. See his Psalm blog for ideas about the Psalm and for the Hebrew original.
Especially interesting and appropriate for Taphophile Tragics is Rabbi Segal's note that
Jackals (v. 11) are scavengers (and therefore “foxes,” found in some translations, is inappropriate). The implication is non-burial, a cursed fate in both the Bible and the surrounding cultures (stretching to ancient Greece).
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18 comments:

Spiderdama said...

To be such a small country you have a lot of desert. Photo no 2 is great! And so are the words in this psalm.

Hope you have a good time down there:-)

Robert Geiss said...

Much thirst ahead, so it feels. Summer months remain the more difficult for me over here. Thank you for the thoughtful entry and the detail of the Jackal very much. Please have a good start into the new week.

Sara said...

I wonder what that jackal is saying...perhaps he is singing the words of the 63rd Psalm in his jackal language...

Hels said...

I think future wars will be fought over water supplies, not oil :( Drought was always a problem, but climate change seems to be making it endemic :(

cloudia charters said...

Amen

Look! a Jackal!


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VP said...

We have several jackals in our neighborhood but they look quite different, they are mostly bipeds...

This is Belgium said...

nice posting
unbelievable the drought !

Gemma Wiseman said...

The sparseness of the area is amazing! And the photo of the jackal is wonderful! The jackal must be a desperate scavenger in such an area!

Dina said...

Sara, have you heard my videos of the jackals singing? Click on my jackal label. They sound so funny, you will laugh.

Gemma, well, this jackal is in my green neighborhood of the Jerusalem Hills, not in the desert.
But it is a misconception that jackals are only scavengers. They also eat fruit and hunt for live animals.

mirae said...

ah this is such a beautiful photo to represent the stark nakedness of the soul in communion with the pale blue sky of consciousness.
shalom and thanyou.HUGS

Ann said...

jackals eat fruit? I thought they would be purely meat eaters. Thought I guess in an arid landscape they need to adapt.

cieldequimper said...

Sorry but I just got side-tracked by VP's comment...

JM said...

Great entry on the Taphophile Tragics meme, Dina!

Francisca said...

I wonder if anyone has studied the underlying reason for the belief that non-burial is a cursed fate. It's not totally universal, but it sure spans some otherwise diverse cultures.

Julie said...

I always love to read the other comments. They are frequently instructive and perhaps ask the questions that arise in my mind also. For example, Ann's query re jackals eating fruit. I am stumped by that one, too. But maybe I am confusing jackals and hyenas.

And, of course, the other thought in the back of my mind is just why so many different cultures are adamant that burial is the way to go. I can understand more now, why there was such resistance to cremation for just so long. I suppose leaving a body out on a high platfom is not considered hygienic in the modern city.

Thank you for this contribution, Dina. I know I can rely upon you to bring diversity to our meme each week you contribute.

Suzanne said...

That jackal is just a little too close for me. Was he laughing?

Dina said...

Francisca and Julie, Judaism has something called kavod hamet, meaning a dead body has to be honored. And that means, if there is a tragic accident, a special squad called Zaka scoures the area to recover every tiny bit of human tissue so everything can be brought to burial.

And about the jackals, well, I have seen them eating dead chickens and goats, but never fruit.
But a metal sign in a nearby nature reserve, explaining all about jackals, says they eat fruit as well as dead and live meat.

Suzanne, I rather think he was yawning.

mirae said...

lord of light my soul lies barren and exposed to the elements in a parched desertland under an intense sunlight and I thirst for your words but I must wait in silence and nakedness to receive them.

(a little psalm I wrote)
thanks for the masterpeice of photo.