5 years ago, when I married my wife, I read two verses from Psalms 137. This chapter is a mixture of past, present and future in the history of the Israelites. Today we are going to speak about the past and the present. The past is the destruction of the First Temple and the people that were in the exile explain their feelings in these words:
"עַל נַהֲרוֹת, בָּבֶל--שָׁם יָשַׁבְנוּ, גַּם-בָּכִינוּ: בְּזָכְרֵנוּ, אֶת-צִיּוֹן.עַל-עֲרָבִים בְּתוֹכָהּ
תָּלִינוּ, כִּנֹּרוֹתֵינוּ.כִּי שָׁם שְׁאֵלוּנוּ שׁוֹבֵינוּ, דִּבְרֵי-שִׁיר וְתוֹלָלֵינוּ שִׂמְחָה:שִׁירוּ
לָנוּ מִשִּׁיר צִיּוֹן. אֵיךְ--נָשִׁיר אֶת-שִׁיר-יְהוָה: עַל אַדְמַת נֵכָר"
"By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it we hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.” How can we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign land?"(Psalms 137:1-4)
I always tried to imagine the feelings of this community, who had to leave the land that was promised to them, due to their sins. They were sitting on the rivers of Babylon, crying and weeping, depressed and hopeless. The Babylonians forced them to sing their songs in a foreign land.
However, this psalm continues with words that every groom, before he breaks the glass in memory of the destruction in the past, says:
"אִם-אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי. תִּדְבַּק-לְשׁוֹנִי, לְחִכִּי-אִם-לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי:אִם-לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת-יְרוּשָׁלִַם עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי"
"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy"(Psalms 137:5-6)
Every wedding is not just a creation of a new house and an observation to the future. We remember our past in the present. Some Jewish people when they paint their house they leave one brick without color in order to remember the past.
Read Psalms 137:5-6 in Hebrew and publish them on our Facebook fan pages. You can also share your thoughts with us here. Have a blessed week, Eli
Hebrew- Transcription- Translation
בָּכִינוּ-bāchînû- We wept
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