Feb 182013

I thought that it would be appropriate to add to this poem about departing for Zion a reggae song on the same theme. Then I realized there were hundreds of them. I settled on this one, because it is gorgeous. Try to overlook our Rastafarian compatriots’ persistent geographical confusion over the location of Zion; they are very stoned.

Johnny Clarke - Moving On to Zion

Yehuda ha-Levi (1075? – 1141?)
The Day My Soul Yearned

The day my soul yearned for the House of Assembly
When fear of the voyage had seized me with trembling,
The one great in counsel whirled fair winds for the trip,
I’ll find in his name, in my heart, my refreshment.
To him I shall bow then each step of the way,
And offer thanksgiving for each pace I’m treading.

יהודה הלוי / يهوذا اللاوي
יום נכספה נפשי

יוֹם נִכְסְפָה נַפְשִׁי לְבֵית הַוָּעַד
וַיֹּאחֲזֵנִי לַנְּדוּדִים רָעַד,
סִבֵּב גְּדָל עֵצָה עֲלִילֹות לַנְּדֹד
וָאֶמְצְאָה בִשְׁמוֹ בְּלִבִּי סָעַד.
עַל-כֵּן אֲנִי מִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה אֵלָיו בְּכָל
מַסָּע, וְאוֹדֶנּוּ עֲלֵי כָל-צָעַד.


Yom nikhsefáh nafshí le-véit ha-váʕad
Va-yoḥazéini la-nedudím ráʕad,
Sibéiv gedál ʕeitzáh ʕalilót la-nedód
Ve-’emtze’áh vishmó be-liní sáʕad.
ʕal kein ‘aní mishtaḥavéh ‘eiláv be-khól
Masáʕ, ve-‘odénu ʕaléi khol tzáʕad.

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