Jan 072013

Look, it’s a delicate allegory of the profound love between God and the people of Israel. It even quotes the Song of Songs, see?

Todros Abulafia (1247 – after 1300)
How Bitter and Harsh

How bitter and harsh was the day that you left, graceful fawn;
Its memory leaves not one spot on my flesh unmaligned.
And yet how exceedingly beautiful were your two feet
When they rose up and tight ’round my neck intertwined.

טודרוס אבולעפיה / طدروس أبو العافية
מה מר ונורא

מַה מָּר וְנוֹרָא יוֹם נְדוּדֵךְ יַעֲלַת
הַחֵן, לְזִכְרוֹ אֵין מְתֹם בִּבְשָׂרִי.
אַךְ מַה מְּאֹד יָפוּ פְעָמַיִךְ בְּעֵת
הִשְׂתָּרְגוּ עָלוּ עֲלֵי צַוָּארִי.


Mah mar ve-norá yom nedudéikh yaʕalát
ha-ḥein, le-zikhró ‘ein metóm bi-vesarí.
‘Akh mah me’ód yafú feʕamáyikh be-ʕéit
histargú ʕalú ʕaléi tzavarí.

  2 Responses to “Todros Abulafia, “Mah Mar ve-Nora””

  1. Also a little Yom Kippur action in the title, no?

  2. Who are you, my Hebrew professor? He’s always expecting me to catch shit from the mahzor too. Look, man, if it doesn’t include the words “kol” and “nidrei,” Yom Kippur references are going to be over my head. Maybe I should read the damn thing.

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