My inspiration for biblical verses this month comes from the lovely and soulful translations of Rabbi Yael Levy in her book Journey through the Wilderness (subtitled: A Mindfulness Approach to the Ancient Jewish Practice of Counting the Omer). She has given me permission to quote her translations (thank you!). I use 2 of her verses in this blogpost.
One of her translations aspects I found most fascinating is that of YHVH (LORD in the bible). She uses Mystery. I have used Mother/Father Creator, and more lately, Vibration.Being. I love her usage. It taps into the magic that YHVH is the ultimate Mystery of all creation. These beautiful translations are meaningful, differing, yet connected aspects of the holy name. These prism-like views come together to make an even more exquisite truth.
For today’s blogpost my main focus is on several verses from Psalm 119. It is poetry which talks about the heart and chesed, or in English, lovingkindness.
I find Rabbi Levy’s translations to be simple, clear and powerful. I see our verses as complimentary, different facets that deepen their meanings. For those who are interested, my notes for how I come to my translations are at the end. I have used the King James Version (KJV) for familiarity, Rabbi Yael Levy’s translations (RYL – I also note the page numbers from her book) and MPV (Mystic Pagan Version, my own translations). I begin with a passage from Exodus because several of the Hebrew words used in it are echoed in Psalm 119.
And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
And All-potential powers clamored “BEINGNESS BLESSED BEINGNESS.”
Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,
and that seek him with the whole heart.
Fulfilled are those who walk in simplicity, guided by the Mystery,
Content are those who are mindful of what is important
And go forward with an open heart.
RYL (pg 12)
Blessed are those who dance in the wholeness of Vibration.Being
Vigilant to the pathways
Of the open, joyful heart
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
I embody creation’s vibration with my thunderously beating heart,
my guide to open-hearted pathways.
Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
May chesed, generous, abiding love, come through me.
RYL (pg 17)
May vibrations of lovingkindness fill my being, O Vibration.Being of verdant noise
This short passage is filled with so much meaning. When God speaks to Moses, the Hebrew word is amar (Strong’s 559). Amar is also used in Genesis when God makes the declarations that begin the process of creating life.
And God said (amar), Let there be light: and there was light.
Genesis 1:3 (KJV)
The English translation “said” appears too timid for such a grand proclamation. This is thunderous, ear-splitting noise, the underlying vibration that sets life in motion. The word “clamor” was as close as I could get to this concept.
I AM WHO I AM in Hebrewis Ehyeh, asher, ehyeh. Ehyeh is a wonderful word related to our English verb “to be” without indicating a specific tense making it outside the tethers of time. I used “BEINGNESS.”
Asher (Strong’s 834, 835) is a multi-faceted word. KJV translates it as “who.” I use another of its meanings, BLESSED. The blessedness in this form also indicates being joyous or happy. How awesome is that!
For a discussion of my translation of El or Elohim (God in KJV, all-potential powers in MPV) see my previous blogpost, Biblical Poetry.
Psalm 119 1-2
The word asher is used again here with the translation of “blessed” (both KJV and mine) RYL translates it as fulfilled.
The concept of a journey or quest is very strong in this passage with the usage of 3 words that emphasize this: Derek, halak, and torah.
I don’t have Rabbi Levy’s translation for this passage. I was drawn to it because I am intrigued by the concept of holding a “divine word” in a person’s heart. How does one hold a word? Especially if that word comes from the same root as amar, the divine clamoring? The related word is imrah (Strong’s 565), which is virtually the same as amar in its root. KJV translates it as “thy word.” I use “thunderously [beating heart].”
The word that KJV uses for “mercies” is chesed. Rabbi Levy sticks with the Hebrew. I used lovingkindness which is the common translation.
As before, KJV translates imrah into “thy word.” Rabbi Levy points to its flowing nature and the vibration that is imrah (she writes, having the energies “come through me”). For this word, I used “clamor” in Exodus 3:14, “thunderously” in Psalm 119:11 and “verdant noise” in this verse.
For discussion of the translations of YHVH (LORD in KJV, Vibration.Being in MPV and Mystery in RYL) please see, More Biblical Poetry (Note: I don’t describe Rabbi Levy’s translation in this blogpost)
Chart of the key words from this blogpost:
Eyyeh – Exodus 3:14
KVJ: I AM
Asher – Exodus 3:14, Psalm 119:1-2
KJV: WHO, blessed
Amar/Imrah – Exodus 3:14, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:41
KJV: said, thy word
MPV: clamor, thunderously, verdant noise
YHVH – Psalm 119:1-2, Psalm 119:41
Janet Maika’i Rudolph. “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE QUEST.” I have walked the spirit path for over 25 years traveling to sacred sites around the world including Israel to do an Ulpan (Hebrew language studies while working on a Kibbutz), Eleusis and Delphi in Greece, Avebury and Glastonbury in England, Brodgar in Scotland, Machu Picchu in Peru, Teotihuacan in Mexico, and Giza in Egypt. Within these travels, I have participated in numerous shamanic rites and rituals, attended a mystery school based on the ancient Greek model, and studied with shamans around the world. I am twice initiated. The first as a shaman practitioner of a pathway known as Divine Humanity. The second ordination in 2016 was as an Alaka’i (a Hawaiian spiritual guide with Aloha International). I have written three books: When Moses Was a Shaman, When Eve Was a Goddess, (now available in Spanish, Cuando Eva era una Diosa), and One Gods. In Ardor and Adventure, Janet.now available in Spanish. Cuando Eva era una Diosa.