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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]
“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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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
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SUNG IN TRADITIONAL CANTOR FORM
In Yiddish. Turn on the subtitles if not on.
“EISHES CHAYIL (Woman of Valor)”: (name of cantor not listed)
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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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MARTHA’S GIFT OF HER SELF THIS YEAR
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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A FATHER’S DAUGHTER
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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A LITTLE ST. MARTHA SOMETHING
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HEY, LOOK AT THIS! A MARY & MARTHA MOVIE.
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POEMS TO MARTHA
at the end, the gift of a life verse
(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.
THRUSH IN BUSH
Like a thrush, lite
Upon the rose of my love’s bloom.
As for the thorns,
These guardians prick
The wilting hand of pickers.
Home and you are one;
The most peaceable bed the moon
Shall ever shine upon: lulled by the thrush,
Wakened by the lark.
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
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
NOT TO FORGET
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.
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 WOULD EVER BE (WITHOUT YOU)
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;
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”
THE GIFT OF MY LIFE VERSE FOR MARTHA
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!
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