Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lech Lecha: You Will Be A Blessing

When it came time for Avram to be pushed out of his homeland and onward to Kena'an, God promised him that he "will be a blessing", that "all the clans of the Earth will be blessed through" him.

As soon as they heard the news, all the Blessings in heaven milled before God's throne in agitation - which Blessing would be the one which Avram & his descendants could carry to the world?

Zocher Habrit stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Et briti heferu."

Dayan Emet stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Vechai bahem."

Borei Minei Besamim stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Ketoret to'eva hi li."

Hatov Vehametiv stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Oseh shalom uvorei ra, ani adonai oseh kol eleh."

Shehakol Nihiyeh Bidvaro stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Hachayim vehamavet natati lefanecha... ubacharta bachayim."

Mekadesh Yisrael stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Baruch ami mitsrayim, uma'aseh yadai ashur."

Shekocho Ugevurato Malei Olam stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded with a thin, silent sound.

Chanun Hamarbeh Lisloach stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Verichamti et asher arachem."

Al Hatevila stepped up and spoke.
But the Creator responded, "Banim gidalti veromamti, vehem pash'u bi."

The last blessing to make a case was Meshaneh Habriyot, saying "Ma rabu ma'asecha adonai, kulam bechochmah asita, mal'ah ha'arets kinyanecha," and the Creator responded with a full lit countenance.

Upon hearing the Creator's decision, Shover Oyevim uMachnia Zedim yelled in offended shock: "But Meshaneh Habriyot applies equally to the righteous and the sinful, to beauty and ugliness, to victory and pain! How is this a sanctification of your name?"

At this God smiled and said, "Yadati. Salachti. I have known. I have forgiven."

7 comments:

chillul Who? said...

Apologies for the transliteration and lack of translations. This agada will be a bit of a puzzle I guess, but I couldn't think of a way to make it work in English

JonahSteinberg said...

This is lovely! I almost expected God to answer, "Silence! Thus it has arisen in my thought!" as in the story about Rabbi Akiva in Menachot 29b.

chillul Who? said...

Thanks! and yeah, that was the kind of feeling I was going for :)

Rebecca said...

hey--just wandered onto this blog and LOVE it. but, as a poor little selfeducated yid with shaky hebrew, can you give us a translation? a simple gloss will do. i know, it's better in hebrew, but, please!

rebecca m said...

that was amazing! that's what I get for not keeping up with this project.

I didn't get the Shehakol one, though.

chillul Who? said...

Sorry guys I didn't get the notice that you'd commented... I'll post a translation of the blessings and responses and notes about why I picked them soon.

chillul Who? said...

Thanks for the compliments, here's the annotated version... :)

Zocher Habrit = He Who remembers the covenant (from rosh hashana prayers)

Et briti heferu. = They have broken my covenant (tanach quote)

Dayan Emet = The True Judge (upon hearing of a death)

Vechai bahem. = You shall live by [these laws] (torah quote)

Borei Minei Besamim = Creator of types of spices (upon smelling good things)

Ketoret to'eva hi li. = Your incense is abominable to me (prophets quote)

Hatov Vehametiv = Who is Good and Who does Good (part of birkat hamazon)

Oseh shalom uvorei ra, ani adonai oseh kol eleh. = I make peace and create evil, I God do all these things (prophets quote)

Shehakol Nihiyeh Bidvaro = For everything was created by His words (blessing before many foods) (note to rebecca m: says god does everything)

Hachayim vehamavet natati lefanecha... ubacharta bachayim. = I have put before you life and death.... choose life (torah quote) (note to rebecca m: says god doesn't do everything, we have important choices)

Mekadesh Yisrael = Who sanctifies the Jewish people (from holiday kiddush and amida)

Baruch ami mitsrayim, uma'aseh yadai ashur. = Blessed is my people Egypt, and Assyria my handiwork (prophets quote)

Shekocho Ugevurato Malei Olam = Whose power and strength fill the world (blessing upon hearing thunder)

Chanun Hamarbeh Lisloach = The gracious one who forgives exceedingly (from the amida)

Verichamti et asher arachem. = I will have compassion only on those for whom I choose to have compassion (tanach quote)

Al Hatevila = Upon the Dunking (blessed for going to the mikvah after menstruation)

Banim gidalti veromamti, vehem pash'u bi. = I have raised and raised up children, but they hurt me (prophets quote)

Meshaneh Habriyot = Who Makes Varied Creations (blessing said upon encountering a person or creature of spectacular appearance, whether pleasant or discomforting)

Ma rabu ma'asecha adonai, kulam bechochmah asita, mal'ah ha'arets kinyanecha = How have your works grown, God, which you made all in wisdom, the Earth is filled with your creations (psalms quote)

Shover Oyevim uMachnia Zedim = Breaker of enemies and vanquisher of sinner (from the amida)