Oct 212012
 

I spent a long while walking on Friday night. It was cold, bracingly windy and damp, in all ways an October night, and the more I walked, the deeper I sunk into an accordant gloom. And this poem kept running through my head:

Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik (1873 – 1934)
Alone

They’ve all been taken by the wind and swept up by the light,
A new song gave the morning of their lifetimes joy to sing;
And I, a tender fledgling, am entirely forgotten
Under the shekhina’s wings.

Alone, alone, I’m left alone, and the shekhina too –
Above my head her right wing, broken, fluttered lonely.
And my heart knew what lay in hers: she trembled over me,
Her son, her one and only.

She’d been expelled from every corner, leaving nowhere but
a silent, bare and empty hidden space for her to go –
the house of study – and as she was covered by the shadows
I was with her in her woe.

And when I’d grown weary of my place beneath her wing
and my heart yearned for the window, for the light, so bright and clear –
she lay her head upon my shoulder, and onto
my Gemara dripped a tear.

Silently she sobbed for me and clung to me, as if
her broken wing might shield me from the unknown:
“They’ve all been taken by the wind, each one has flown away,
and I’ll be left here all alone.”

As if it were the ending of an ancient elegy,
as if it joined together supplication, prayer and fear,
my ears took in the sound of that still and silent sobbing
and that single boiling tear –

חיים נחמן ביאליק
לבדי


כֻּלָּם נָשָׂא הָרוּחַ, כֻּלָּם סָחַף הָאוֹר,
שִׁירָה חֲדָשָׁה אֶת-בֹּקֶר חַיֵּיהֶם הִרְנִינָה;
וַאֲנִי, גּוֹזָל רַךְ, נִשְׁתַּכַּחְתִּי מִלֵּב
תַּחַת כַּנְפֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה.

בָּדָד, בָּדָד נִשְׁאַרְתִּי, וְהַשְּׁכִינָה אַף-הִיא
כְּנַף יְמִינָהּ הַשְּׁבוּרָה עַל-רֹאשִׁי הִרְעִידָה.
יָדַע לִבִּי אֶת-לִבָּה: חָרֹד חָרְדָה עָלַי,
עַל-בְּנָהּ, עַל-יְחִידָהּ.

כְּבָר נִתְגָּרְשָׁה מִכָּל-הַזָּוִיּוֹת, רַק-עוֹד
פִּנַּת סֵתֶר שׁוֹמֵמָה וּקְטַנָּה נִשְׁאָרָה –
בֵּית-הַמִּדְרָשׁ – וַתִּתְכַּס בַּצֵּל, וָאֱהִי
עִמָּהּ יַחַד בַּצָּרָה.

וּכְשֶׁכָּלָה לְבָבִי לַחַלּוֹן, לָאוֹר,
וּכְשֶׁצַּר-לִי הַמָּקוֹם מִתַּחַת לִכְנָפָהּ –
כָּבְשָׁה רֹאשָׁהּ בִּכְתֵפִי, וְדִמְעָתָהּ עַל-דַּף
גְּמָרָתִי נָטָפָה.

חֶרֶשׁ בָּכְתָה עָלַי וַתִּתְרַפֵּק עָלָי,
וּכְמוֹ שָׂכָה בִּכְנָפָהּ הַשְּׁבוּרָה בַּעֲדִי:
״כֻּלָּם נָשָׂא הָרוּחַ, כֻּלָּם פָּרְחוּ לָהֶם,
וָאִוָּתֵר לְבַדִּי, לְבַדִּי…״

וּכְעֵין סִיּוּם שֶׁל-קִינָה עַתִּיקָה מְאֹד,
וּכְעֵין תְּפִלָּה, בַּקָּשָׁה וַחֲרָדָה כְּאַחַת,
שָׁמְעָה אָזְנִי בַּבִּכְיָה הַחֲרִישִׁית הַהִיא
וּבַדִּמְעָה הַהִיא הָרוֹתַחַת –
י

Transliteration/תעתיק:

Kúlom nóso ho-rúakh, kúlom sókhaf ho-óyr,
Shíroh khdósho es bóyker khayéihem hirníno;
Va’aní, góyzol rakh, nishtakákhti mi-léiv
Tákhas kánfei ha-shkhíno.

Bódod, bódod nishárti, ve-ha-shkhíno af-hí
Knáf yemíno ha-shvúro al róyshi hirído.
Yóda líbi es líbo, khóroyd khórdo alái,
Al-bnó, al-yekhído.

Kvór nitgórsho mi-kóyl ha-zovíyoys, rak oyd
Pínas séiser shoyméimo u-ktanó nishóro –
Beis ha-mídrosh – va-tískas ba-tzéil, vo-ehí
Imó yákhad ba-tzóro.

Ukh-she-kólo levóvi la-kháloyn, lo-óyr,
Ukh-she-tzár li ha-mókoym mi-tákhas likhnófo –
Kóvsho róysho bikhséifi, ve-dimóso al-dáf
Gemorósi notófo.

Khéresh bókhto alái va-tisrápeik alái,
Ukhmóy sókho bikhnófo ha-shvúro ba’adí:
“Kúlom nóso ho-rúakh, kúlom pórkhu lahém,
Vo-ivóser levádi, levádi…”

Ukhéin síyum shel kíno atíko me’óyd,
Ukhéin tefílo, bakósho vakhródo ke-ákhas,
Shómo óyznai bavkhíyoh hakhríshis ha-hí
U-va-dímo ha-hí ho-roytákhas –

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