“Martha, Martha”

(Luke 10)

Martha at ThreeMartha at Three

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Mother’s Day, 2016

Four songs (well, five with the bonus one at the end. “The Martha Poems” . Each part, in its own way, says Blessed Mother’s Day.

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A Woman of Valor

[Proverbs 31: 10-31]

Image result for a woman of valor

“A Woman of Valor” is a hymn which is customarily recited on Friday evenings. It is one of the thirteen alphabetical acrostic poems in the Bible. Traditionally Husbands sing this to their wives.

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“EISHES CHAYIL (Woman of Valor)”: Ari Lesser

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Image result for a woman of valor

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This one’s not much to look at!  The vocals, though, fit the tune  and the sentiment perfectly. (Yiddish. Lyrics same as above, or see below.)

“EISHES CHAYIL (Woman of Valor)”: Dudi Kalish & Ari Hill

Image result for a woman of valor

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In Yiddish. Turn on the subtitles if not on.

“EISHES CHAYIL (Woman of Valor)”: (name of cantor not listed)

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Image result for a woman of valor

PROVERBS 31:10-31

10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She doeth him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant-ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth food to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it; with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and maketh strong her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her lamp goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh for herself coverlets; her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh linen garments and selleth them; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she laugheth at the time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and the law of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her:
29 ‘Many daughters have done valiantly, but thou excellest them all.’
30 Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her works praise her in the gates

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Well, One of Them!

Teaching the Third Class at church. A steady  dose of stories from the Old Testament. New to many of them. This little ditty seems the right way to give a shout-out to Teacher Martha.

The song is rightly titled, “Miracles”.  Seeing God’s ways and doings of old is to know the grace of His ever present presence in our lives. As He walked & talked back then He does still.  The very miracle of it is worth a praise and a song.

Watching this, don’t miss the part about “going potty”!  Something to make every Third Grace boy giggle.

(Song quickly goes into English)

“MIRACLES”: GAD ELBAZ & Naftail & Ari Lesser

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“Little Girl”


The Best of Wives & the Best of Mothers. Yet, before all that Martha was the Best of Daughters. That is, she was a most Beloved Daughter of her Father.

Here’s a little song written by a father for his daughter, “My Little Girl”. His protective love and all-encompassing joy shows through. (In Hebrew, have yet to locate a translation.)

“YALDA KTUNA (Little Girl)”: Mose Peretz


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[by husband]

at the end, the gift of a life verse

Martha (High School)

Martha (High School, 1969)



(in San Francisco)

Few are perfect: a moment

Here, there.  One was, when spied that

Fogless morning, walking up Market from Octavia, was you.


About you, yellow dress swishing with

Forward stride towards my waiting.


A momentarily stay of a moment – of perfection.




Like a thrush, lite

Upon the rose of my love’s bloom.


As for the thorns,

Fear not;

These guardians prick

The wilting hand of pickers.




(after Coleridge)


Home and you are one;

The most peaceable bed the moon

Shall ever shine upon: lulled by the thrush,

Wakened by the lark.


Without you

A house is but a ship stilled

Listless on becalmed waters,

Whose helmsman, Stranded off

An ocean wide, sits mute

Upon a rudderless shore.



Bed me down;

Lulled by sleep, kiss me wake

In no house where your heart’s

No home.




It isn’t rain

Sopping the soil’s thirst . . .


It isn’t the sun

Toasting seedlings in damp earth . . .


It isn’t the thud of hoeing,

Uprooting enemy weed and thistle . . .


What rains sun down

On my cultivated heart (for pansies)

Is the moist warmth

Of your love’s labor.




When love swells strong

Hearts wake ears to tell

The story of it, whisper

The joy of it.


What fire your love has seeded

Within me; let my kindled lips

Spark your sleeping ear. Live flesh

Dropped onto warm flesh; never

To ember fade, but pounce

From one seed to another

To germinate.




Never too much to love;

Much to lose though

If the sea,

The ship battering sea, breaks

Upon the surf and wreaks

This skiff of ours.


Unforsaken prayers,

And unforgotten memories,

Anchor our sail in a harbor

Of prayers answered

And memories recollected.


With God be with us

The sea will not take us;

For the memory of our prayers

Will not forget (or

Forsake) that love of His

Which sails us home.




If such should be

The soul would bid good-night

The sun, and wake

The heart to ache.


If such be,

Frost would bite dead dove flesh,

Unlit hearts smoke no ash-soot

From chimneys; and

In narrow alleys

No rubbing of shoulders.


Is such as that shall ever be?

Old wine is more charmed than the new;

It warms the belly, such tingling turnings.

With time rotating passage

These years of ours have tasted our love,

Have found it good.


So let the sun, such

As it is, nap the night away;

Good love

Tingles the heart awake, and if

Ache be so it is for

The more of you. Truly, if ever

There should be such, let it be

Such as this.


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“As a Deer Longs for Flowing Streams”


We were encouraged to devote heart & mind a life verse.  In such matters one usually ends up with several.  Have one for the Lord’s protection, Psalm 81 (the whole of it); as for standing upon solid ground, a whole book, Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

One, though, must have a portion of scripture which pieces the heart – down to the soul of it – a word from the Lord that weeps and rejoices together. For me, that is Psalm 42:1-2. Here it is sung (in Hebrew) at some groom’s stag party of all places!

PSALM 42:1-2

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God (Hashem). My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go to meet the living God?

KEAYAL TAAROG: Motty Steinmet

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