Tuesday, April 25, 2006

There is none like You among the dumb - אין כמוך באלמים

A medieval piyyut, composed by Isaac bar Shalom, in response to the persecutions of Jews in Ashkenaz during the Second Crusade in 1147, begins with this stanza:
There is none like You among the dumb,
Keeping silence and being still in the face of those who aggrieve us.
Our foes are many; they rise up against us,
As they take counsel together to revile us.
"Where is your King?," they taunt us.
But we have not forgotten You nor deceived You.
Do not keep silence! (אל דמי לך )
Source: Jakob J. Petuchowski, Theology and Poetry: Studies in the Medieval Piyyut (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978), pp. 71-83.

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