Heart Vibration: Biblical Poetry by Janet MaiKa’i Rudolph

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.

Exodus 3:14

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
KJV

And All-potential powers clamored “BEINGNESS BLESSED BEINGNESS.”
MPV

Psalm 119:1-2

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.
KJV

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
Harmonizing, Questing,
Vigilant to the pathways
Of the open, joyful heart
MPV

Psalm 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
KJV

I embody creation’s vibration with my thunderously beating heart,
my guide to open-hearted pathways.
MPV

Psalm 119:41

Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
KJV

May chesed, generous, abiding love, come through me.
RYL (pg 17)

May vibrations of lovingkindness fill my being, O Vibration.Being of verdant noise
MPV

Notes:

Exodus 3:14

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.

Psalm 119:11

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].”

Psalm 119:41

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 

MPV: BEINGNESS

AsherExodus 3:14, Psalm 119:1-2

KJV: WHO, blessed

MPV: blessed

RYL: fulfilled

Amar/Imrah – Exodus 3:14, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 119:41

KJV: said, thy word

MPV: clamor, thunderously, verdant noise

RYL: through

YHVH – Psalm 119:1-2, Psalm 119:41

KJV: LORD

MPV: Vibration.Being

RYL: Mystery

Bio

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 ShamanWhen 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.



Categories: Bible, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Poetry, Shamanism, Textual Interpretation

Tags: , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. I was just wondering if there might be any connection between the word “asher” in these verses and the Goddess Asherah. I love all of your posts, by the way. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Brilliant Laura. I am so excited by your comment. Yes, there does appear to be a connection. I am traveling now so I don’t have access to my “go to” books to look up stuff like this but both use the root letters of aleph shin and resh so there has to be something.

      I didn’t pick up on that connection before, just awesome Laura thank you. Can you imagine the ramifications – Moses asks who are you god? Who do I say send me? And the answer is . . The goddess Ashera sent me. No wonder the scribes translated that tidbit out of existence.

      When I get home and can look up the connections more closely I’m sure I’ll more to add – maybe even a blogpost on it. There are many exciting layers here. Great pick up there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, definitely a connection that would have been suppressed :)

        I was recently reading The Hebrew Goddesses by Patai. He made the connection between Asherah and the name Asher, that led me to notice “asher” in your post. “In a 7th century BCE Hebrew incantation text, found in Arslan Tash in Upper Syria, the help of the Goddess Asherah is sought for a woman in delivery. Such an invocation of Asherah may have been contained in the original form of the exclamation made by Leah at the birth of Zilpah’s son, whom she named Asher. If so, we have here a testimony to the worship of Asherah in the early period in which the patriarchal traditions of Genesis originated.”

        Asherah is fascinating.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Oh yes Asherah is fascinating. I read Patai a very long time ago so I don’t remember details of his book specifically so thanks for bringing it up. I do remember the impact the book had on me and it was profound. But then I thought about why it was so profound that probably helped me go in the directions I have. These decisions made thousands of years ago to hide the goddesses tore apart the fabric of then-society and every person and living being (and others) on this earth is affected by that and I would say not in a good way.

          I can’t wait to get home and see what else I can find along these lines. Just a great connection, thanks so much. I will also look into Patai again. Below is the link to a 5 part series I did called, Yes there are goddesses in the bible. This is the 5th one and if you are interested you can access the others from there.

          Again thanks,

          Yes, there are Goddesses in the Bible, Part 5 by Janet Maika’i Rudolph

          Liked by 1 person

          • Just stopping in again to thank you Laura. What a wonderful connection you made. I have come home and have looked up Asher and Asherah. It is quite fascinating. There is so much, so many layers there. I have written up about 10 pages of notes already. My plan is to put it all together (fingers crossed) and write it up for my November blogpost.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Such impeccable scholarship Janet – I was struck while reading how similar all spiritual traditions are when viewing from the big picture. The part that bothers me about most religious traditions including this one is that FEMALE anything seems absent…. just can’t get beyond this… the HE of it all is just too much – explicit or implicit. But thank you anyway!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. More wonderful interpretations! What struck me about both your and Rabbi Levy’s translations are full of hope and joy in your own spiritual well being they are. The KJV translations always seem to have an air of guilt and shame in them, I feel, even if sin isn’t what they are all about! Keep on translating!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the encouragement Carolyn. Yes, it is quite the contrast what the KJV came up with and the possibilities to take this in other directions. And its the KJV that colors everything in our culture. Time to change that!

      Like

  4. Very interesting. I am impressed by your scholarship and your creativity. I think if the standard-brand god were named Lovingkindness, maybe his various followers would be kinder and not try to kill everyone who doesn’t follow their specific path. And maybe there wouldn’t be any “sin.” Sigh. If only………

    Bright blessings to your work. And you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love it Barbara! Yes a god named Chesed or Lovingkindness. So may it be!

    And yes I agree no concept of sin as the way we have learned it. The word basically means to miss the mark. In Hawaiian, there is really no concept of sin. It means to say go against nature. So for example, you can “sin” against gravity by jumping off a cliff but you can imagine where that will get you.

    Thanks as always

    Liked by 1 person

    • More people should understand about missing the mark. But then what would all those fervid fundamentalists in all religions have to talk–yell, scream– about?

      Everyone misses marks. I think that is a safe generalization. Yes?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh Barbara, I think most people don’t even know what the mark is (therefor screaming to continue) But on the serious side, I do think that is the part of the purpose of our earthwalk is “to know thyself” and that involves lots of trial and error.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Waoo i am very impressed from your creativity

    Liked by 1 person

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