Page 252 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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244
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
,nTnaa ,!r ia y ,may p i ,n3nn Von spy ’3X1
myan p iVy ?ma ova aawnn ^Vsaaa 3diw Vdi
imaa V? n a s i a im VkV unpi ,*?« xoDa lVnm
innsn irpm mp nmay r r r ,nr na ,l?y :-ia*r dki
vrrra
nnyiw*’ is — "ppyx *ioirr nx amn s’? nj axi
(“Father Jacob, pray for me and [Moses] son of Amram stand
by me in my distress
You who are buried in the Mahpelah, how can you lie still
on a day like this? Rise up from your cave
And take hold o f God’s throne and cry out to the merciful
Lord and speak to him [about my] grief;
And if He asks: My beloved, what troubles you?
Answer him: Arise, awaken and rouse yourself!
And if You will not deign to have mercy upon Joseph, your
young one, is there a chance of victory?”)
A reader unfamiliar with rabbinic literature will understand­
ably wonder at the sudden transition from “Answer him etc,”
to “have mercy upon Joseph, your young one.” Only with the
aid of the proem in Lamentations Rabbah 24 can the poet’s
conceit be fully appreciated. There we read that when God
sought to destroy the Temple, Jeremiah went to the Cave of
Mahpelah and said to the Patriarchs: Arise, for the time has
come when your presence is required before the Holy One,
blessed be He. He then stood on the banks of the Jordan and
called: Son of Amram, arise, the time has come when your pres­
ence is required before the Holy One, blessed be He. When
the Patriarchs appeared in heaven, God inquired o f his
Ministering Angels: Why should my beloved be in my house
(,n,aa ‘’TT 1? na)? Then Abraham spoke before the Lord: Sov­
ereign of the Universe, when I was one hundred years old You
gave me a son and when You ordered me to offer him as a
sacrifice I myself bound him. Will You not remember this and
have mercy on my children?
WAR POETRY
*
In the Nagid’s
tehilla
a’Viys nawVDa Wyn ^n (“Will You always
act in my behalf’)15 he celebrates his victory over the armies
15. Cf.
Divan Shmuel Hanagid,
pp. 16-26.