Thursday, July 23, 2015

Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi's Tzion Halo Tishali

I have put together an English translation of Rabbi Yehudah haLevi's beautiful Tziyon Halo Tishali. Of course, you can find it translated in various Hebrew/English editions of kinot, but the translations I have seen on-line have not satisfied me.

To make reading easier, I have divided up the poem into six parts based on themes I see there:
Lines 1-8 - A sense of abandonment; does Zion cry for us?
Lines 9-20 - Zion as the spiritual home of the Shechinah
Lines 21-38 - I wish I were there in the Zion of the Shechinah, even as a mourner!
Lines 39-46 - Mourning for the devastation of physical Zion
Lines 47-56 - We miss you, as a nation
Lines 57-68 - Your glory is great, and we will return

Note that there are various lines which are subject to multiple editions; my text may not match yours. Check the Hebrew below.

I would welcome suggestions and corrections.

Zion, will you not ask after the welfare of your prisoners,
Who seek your welfare, and are the remnant of your flock?
From west and east, and from north and south,
The welfare of those far and near, inquire from all of your sides.
And the welfare of the prisoner of hope, who sheds tears like Hermon’s dew,
And yearns for them to descend upon your mountains.
Crying for your suffering, I am a jackal,
And when I dream of the return of your captives, I am a harp for your songs.

My heart is to Bethel, and for Peniel it greatly yearns,
And for Machanaim and all of the rendezvous of your pure ones,
There the Shechinah resides for you,
And your Creator opened your gates opposite the gates of Heaven,
And the glory of Gd alone was your luminary,
And the Sun, Moon and stars were not your luminaries.
I would choose for my soul to be poured out
In the place where the spirit of Gd was poured out upon your chosen ones.
You, house of royalty, and you, throne of Gd,
How could slaves now sit upon the thrones of your masters?
If only I could wander
Upon the places where Gd was revealed to your seers and messengers!

If only I had wings, and I would fly far away,
I would cause the pieces of my heart to wander among your pieces.
I would fall on my face upon your earth,
And I would desire your stones greatly, and favour your dust.
Even when I would stand upon the graves of my ancestors,
And I would be overwhelmed in Chevron, upon the choicest of your graves.
I would travel your forests and Carmel, and stand in your Gilead,
And I would be overwhelmed upon the mountain of your crossing,
Har ha’Avarim and Hor haHar,
The places of the two great lights, your luminaries and teachers.
The life of souls, air of your earth,
And the dust of your dirt better than sweet myrrh, and your rivers better than the drippings of honeycombs.
It would be pleasant for my spirit, to walk unclothed and barefoot
Upon the desolate ruins which were your Holy of Holies,
In the place where your Ark was hidden,
And in the place of your cherubs, which resided in your rooms within rooms.
I would shear off and cast down the splendour of my crown, and curse the time
When your nazirites were desecrated in an impure land.

How could eating and drinking be sweet for me, when I see
That dogs drag away your young lions?
Or how could the light of day be sweet for my eyes,
When I see in the mouth of ravens the corpses of your nesharim?
The cup of misery, slow! Release a bit,
For my innards and soul are already full of your bitterness.
When I remember Oholoh, I drink of your wine,
And when I remember Oholibah I squeeze out your sediment.
Zion, crown of beauty, braided with love and favour since back then,
And in you are braided the souls of your friends.
They are the ones who rejoice at your peace,
And who are pained at your desolaton, and who cry upon your ruins.
From the pit of captivity, they yearn toward you,
And they bow, each from his place, toward your gates,
The flocks of your multitudes, who were exiled,
And who were scattered from mountain to hill, but did not forget your pastures.
Who hold your hems, and struggle to ascend,
And to hold the branches of your dates.

Will Shinar and Patros compare with you in their size,
And will their futility be compared with your Urim v’Tummim?
To whom will they compare your anointed and your prophets,
And to whom your Levites and your singers?
Let all of the idolatrous empires change and pass entirely,
Your strength is forever, your crown for all generations.
He desired you for the dwelling of your Gd,
Fortunate is the one who will choose, draw near, and dwell in your streets.
Fortunate is the one who waits and arrives and sees the rising of your light,
And your dawns will break upon him,
To see the good of your chosen ones, and to celebrate in your joy
When you return to your early youth.

צִיּוֹן, הֲלֹא תִשְׁאֲלִי לִשְׁלוֹם אֲסִירַיִךְ,
דּוֹרְשֵׁי שְׁלוֹמֵךְ וְהֵם יֶתֶר עֲדָרָיִךְ?
מִיָּם וּמִזְרָח וּמִצָּפוֹן וְתֵימָן
שְׁלוֹם רָחוֹק וְקָרוֹב שְׂאִי מִכֹּל עֲבָרָיִךְ.
וּשְׁלוֹם אֲסִיר תּקוָה, נוֹתֵן דְּמָעָיו כְּטַל חֶרְמוֹן
וְנִכְסַף לְרִדְתָּם עַל הֲרָרָיִךְ.
לִבְכּוֹת עֱנוּתֵךְ אֲנִי תַנִּים,
וְעֵת אֶחֱלֹם שִׁיבַת שְׁבוּתֵך אֲנִי כִנּוֹר לְשִׁירָיִךְ.

לִבִּי לְבֵית-אֵל וְלִפְנִיאֵל מְאֹד יֶהֱמֶה
וּלְמַחֲנַיִם וְכֹל פִּגְעֵי טְהוֹרָיִךְ,
שָׁם הַשְּׁכִינָה שְׁכֵנָה לָךְ,
וְיּוֹצְרֵךְ פָּתַח לְמוּל שַׁעֲרֵי שַׁחַק שְׁעָרָיִךְ,
וּכְבוֹד ד' לְבַד הָיָה מְאוֹרֵךְ,
וְאֵין שֶׁמֶשׁ וְסַהַר וְכוֹכָבִים מְאִירָיִךְ.
אֶבְחַר לְנַפְשִׁי לְהִשְׁתַּפֵּךְ
בְּמָקוֹם אֲשֶר רוּחַ אלקים שְׁפוּכָה עַל בְּחִירָיִךְ.
אַתְּ בֵּית מְלוּכָה וְאַתְּ כִּסֵּא ד',
וְאֵיךְ יָשְׁבוּ עֲבָדִים עֲלֵי כִסְאוֹת גְּבִירָיִךְ?
מִי יִתְּנֵנִי מְשׁוֹטֵט
בַּמְּקוֹמוֹת אֲשֶׁר נִגְלוּ אלקים לְחוֹזַיִךְ וְצִירָיִךְ.

מִי יַעֲשֶׂה לִי כְנָפַיִם וְאַרְחִיק נְדוֹד,
אָנִיד לְבִתְרֵי לְבָבִי בֵּין בְּתָרָיִךְ.
אֶפֹּל לְאַפַּי עֲלֵי אַרְצֵךְ
וְאֶרְצֶה אֲבָנַיִךְ מְאֹד וַאֲחֹנֵן אֶת-עֲפָרָיִךְ,
אַף כִּי בְעָמְדִי עֲלֵי קִבְרוֹת אֲבֹתַי
וְאֶשְׁתּוֹמֵם בְּחֶבְרוֹן עֲלֵי מִבְחַר קְבָרָיִךְ.
אֶעְבֹר בְּיַעְרֵךְ וְכַרְמִלֵּךְ וְאֶעְמֹד בְּגִלְעָדֵךְ
וְאֶשְׁתּוֹמֲמָה אֶל הַר עֲבָרָיִךְ,
הַר הָעֲבָרִים וְהֹר הָהָר,
אֲשֶׁר שָׁם שְׁנֵי אוֹרִים גְּדוֹלִים מְאִירַיִךְ וּמוֹרָיִךְ.
חַיֵּי נְשָׁמוֹת אֲוִיר אַרְצֵךְ,
וּמִמָּר דְרוֹר אַבְקַת עֲפָרֵךְ, וְנֹפֶת צוּף נְהָרָיִךְ.
יִנְעַם לְנַפְשִׁי הֲלֹךְ עָרֹם וְיָחֵף
עֲלֵי חָרְבוֹת שְׁמָמָה אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ דְבִירָיִךְ,
בִּמְקוֹם אֲרוֹנֵךְ אֲשֶׁר נִגְנַז,
וּבִמְקוֹם כְּרוּבַיִךְ אֲשֶׁר שָׁכְנוּ חַדְרֵי חֲדָרָיִךְ.
אָגֹז וְאַשְׁלִיךְ פְּאֵר נִזְרִי וְאֶקֹּב זְמָן,
חִלֵּל בְּאֶרֶץ טְמֵאָה אֶת נְזִירָיִךְ.

אֵיךְ יֶעֱרַב לִי אֲכֹל וּשְׁתוֹת בְּעֵת אֶחֱזֶה,
כִּי יִּסְחֲבוּ הַכְּלָבִים אֶת כְּפִירָיִךְ?
אוֹ אֵיךְ מְאוֹר יוֹם יְהִי מָתוֹק לְעֵינַי
בְּעוֹד אֶרְאֶה בְּפִי עֹרְבִים פִּגְרֵי נְשָׁרָיִךְ?
כּוֹס הַיְגוֹנִים, לְאַט, הַרְפִּי מְעַט,
כִּי כְבָר מָלְאוּ כְסָלַי וְנַפְשִׁי מַמְּרוֹרָיִךְ.
עֵת אֶזְכְּרָה אָהֳלָה אֶשְׁתֶּה חֲמָרֵךְ,
וְאֶזְכֹּר אָהֳלִיבָה וְאֶמְצֶה אֶת-שְׁמָרָיִךְ.

צִיּוֹן כְּלִילַת יֳפִי, אַהְבָה וְחֵן תִּקְשְׁרִי מֵאָז,
וּבָךְ נִקְשְׁרוּ נַפְשׁוֹת חֲבֵרָיִךְ.
הֵם הַשְּׂמֵחִים לְשַׁלְוָתֵךְ,
וְהַכּוֹאֲבִים עַל שׁוֹמֲמוּתֵךְ וּבוֹכִים עַל שְׁבָרָיִךְ.
מִבּוֹר שְׁבִי שׁוֹאֲפִים נֶגְדֵּךְ
וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים אִישׁ מִמְּקוֹמוֹ אֱלֵי נֹכַח שְׁעָרָיִךְ,
עֶדְרֵי הֲמוֹנֵךְ, אֲשֶׁר גָּלוּ
וְהִתְפַּזְּרוּ מֵהַר לְגִבְעָה וְלֹא שָׁכְחוּ גְדֵרָיִךְ,
הַמַּחֲזִיקִים בְּשׁוּלַיִךְ וּמִתְאַמְּצִים לַעְלוֹת
וְלֶאְחֹז בְּסַנְסִנֵּי תְּמָרָיִךְ.

שִׁנְעָר וּפַתְרוֹס הֲיַעַרְכוּךְ בְּגָדְלָם,
וְאִם הֶבְלָם יְדַמּוּ לְתֻמַּיִךְ וְאוּרָיִךְ?
אֶל מִי יְדַמּוּ מְשִׁיחַיִךְ וְאֶל מִי נְבִיאַיִךְ
וְאֶל מִי לְוִיַּיִךְ וְשָׁרָיִךְ?
יִשְׁנֶה וְיַחְלֹף כְּלִיל כָּל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאֱלִיל,
חָסְנֵךְ לְעוֹלָם, לְדוֹר וָדוֹר נְזָרָיִךְ.
אִוָּךְ לְמוֹשָׁב אלקיִךְ,
וְאַשְׁרֵי אֱנוֹשׁ יִבְחַר יְקָרֵב וְיִשְׁכֹּן בַּחֲצֵרָיִךְ.
אַשְׁרֵי מְחַכֶּה וְיַגִּיעַ וְיִרְאֶה עֲלוֹת אוֹרֵךְ
וְיִבָּקְעוּ עָלָיו שְׁחָרָיִךְ,
לִרְאוֹת בְּטוֹבַת בְּחִירַיִךְ וְלַעְלֹז בְּשִׂמְחָתֵךְ
בְּשׁוּבֵךְ אֱלֵי קַדְמַת נְעוּרָיִךְ.

No comments:

Post a Comment