Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

Jewish Travel

"Jewish Travel"

by

Yehuda Amichai

view from buddhist temple.jpg

 

As it is written, "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help":

not a hike to see a tall mountain in all its glory

not a climb to rejoice in the vistas of nature,

but a hike with a purpose

to seek help from the high heavens.

And how to interpret "I will lift up mine eyes"?

Heavy Jewish eyes that need lifting.

 

And it is written, "Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord?"

Not hikers singing, knapsacks on their shoulders,

but rather a congregation praying with "clean hands and a pure heart,"

not strong bodies and sturdy legs.

And fertile valleys are simply good places for prayer: as it says,

"Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord."

 

Even "green pastures and still waters" are not about resting and eating in the shade of a tree or camping near a stream in the scorch of summer,

but about praising the Lord, since right after that it says

"the Valley of the Shadow of Death" –

the shadow of death overshadows everything.

Jewish travel.

 

Even Moses climbed Mt. Sinai not as mountaineers do,

but to receive the Tablets of the Law.

And he went up Mount Nebo not to come down again

but to die.

 

from Open Closed Open

translated from the Hebrew by Chana Bloch

and Chana Kronfeld

Harcourt, Inc

 

Photo by Roger Bourland

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: