Jan 102013

Turns out most of this blog is prohibited – and one of its favorite poets by name even – by no less an authority than R’ Yosef Karo himself! And I, your ever-faithful translator, am in special trouble!

…And also poetry and proverbs containing profane1 speech, such as the book of Immanuel, and – it goes without saying – “words of desire” are forbidden to read on Shabbat, and even considering them without reading [is also forbidden]! This is decreed for reasons of shitrei hedyotot.2 They are also forbidden during the week, for reasons of moshav leitzim,3 even if written in the Holy Tongue. Regarding “words of desire,” there is an additional prohibition, even if written in the Holy Tongue, for they arouse the evil inclination — and whoever composes them, or copies them, or (it goes without saying) prints them is among those who cause the public to sin.4

Shulḥan `Arukh, Oraḥ Ḥayim 307, paragraph 30.

Reader: I ask, from the depths of my afflicted soul, for meḥilah for having unwittingly led you down paths of sin. Rest assured I will be purging these pages of all filth and wickedness in the coming hours. To be safe, I will now translate only Psalms, and share particularly inspiring Shabbos table talks.

May we all merit our rightful portion in the World to Come,

  1. i.e., not holy.
  2. Secular, especially financial, writings, forbidden on Shabbat.
  3. Psalm 1:1. “Blessed is the man who does not…sit in the company of jesters (“moshav leitzim”).
  4. Maḥti’ei rabim, a more severe category of sinner than one who sins by himself.

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