Can I let you in on a little secret? When I applied to Rabbinic school nearly three decades ago, I’d never read the bible cover to cover – hey, most Jews don’t! But when Hebrew Union College accepted me to Rabbinic School, and sent me a reading list to complete prior to the program’s commencement, it included reading the Tanach (the “Hebrew Scriptures” or Jewish Bible). Dutiful student that I was, I laid by my parents’ pool in Southern California and read bible for a week – cover to cover. I’m still grateful to my parents for covering life’s necessities as I gained new insight on ancient passages newly contextualized. Unexpected connections emerged, and I fell in love with reading Bible. I committed myself to reading the entire Tanach anew each decade. I’ve since learned that many of my Christian friends read their entire bible far more often. Still, my single close- read in 1987 was enough to inspire teachers in Israel to ask if I’d been a Bible Studies Major in University! Well, my love of The Book set it well in my mind and heart!
So at the moment, I’m reading Isiah,a chapter(ish) a day and finding a verse daily to carry with me. Today, early in this New Year, refreshed by the promise of renewal and reinvigorated by precious holiday/vacation time with dear family, friends and former students, allow me to share the verse which is singing to me today, Isiah 38:16:
|אֲדֹנָי, עֲלֵיהֶם יִחְיוּ\\ וּלְכָל-בָּהֶן חַיֵּי רוּחִי\\ וְתַחֲלִימֵנִי וְהַחֲיֵנִ||Adonai, by these things ‘we’ live// and altogether in them is the life of my spirit// [so please] renew me, and make me live.|
What brings you life and renewal? How will you fully live in this day and year? And below is the Bonus for Biblical Hebrew Students- can you link the colored words in Hebrew and English (sorry we lost the last letter of the verse due to technical problems… sometimes that’s life:-) ?Still,
לחים- To Life!
|אֲדֹנָי, עֲלֵיהֶם יִחְיוּ\\ וּלְכָל-בָּהֶן חַיֵּי ירוּחִי\\ וְתַחֲלִימֵנִי וְהַחֲיֵנִ||Adonai, by these things ‘we’ live// and altogether in them is the life of my spirit// [so please] renew me, and make me live.|