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Emet m'Tsiyon

Sunday, May 08, 2005


from ESTABLISH PEACE (Solomon ibn Gabirol)

Sweep away the Arab kings!
Devour the wild beasts
That tear to pieces
the scattered sheep!
Those who say "We are allowed to do it."
. . .
And this song shall be sung
In the Land of Judah, a mighty city is ours!

[translated by Eliyahu m'Tsiyon]


Thus, Lord, do Thou Zion support and uphold,
Arise, for the hour of her grace is at hand,
The day long appointed to sing as of old,
God reigneth, His Kingdom forever shall stand.

Note: "Arab kings" above is malkhey Nebayoth in original. Nebayoth was the eldest son of Ishmael. Ibn Gabirol, living under Arab rule, may have had a special need to write in allusions when cursing his oppressors. Even today the Arabs claim a right to devour others.
"The scattered sheep" above refers to the exiled and scattered people of Israel.
Hebrew texts plus translations by Israel Zangwill, in Selected Religious Poems of Solomon ibn Gabirol (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1974). [Passover Psalm translated by Israel Zangwill]


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