Tuesday, September 2, 2014

#BlogElul 7: Be

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed.  

For a few years I have been blogging Elul with Phyllis Sommer (http://imabima.blogspot.com).  Every year I try to blog every day and for some reason I have not been able to make it every day.  I try, really I do but Elul NEVER fails to be a very busy time for me.  This year maybe I will try blogging at least during the week.

Today the topic is BE and when in doubt I can go to Hebrew.  There is no verb "to be" in Hebrew.  If you go with L'hiyot as the Hebrew to be you will shortly find the famous verse:

I Am that I Am (אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶהehyeh ašer ehyeh is a common English translation (JPS among others) of the response God used in the Hebrew Bible when Moses asked for his name (Exodus 3:14). It is one of the most famous verses in the Torah. Hayah means "existed" or "was" in Hebrew; "ehyeh" is the first person singular imperfect form and is usually translated in English Bibles as "I will be" (or "I shall be"), for example, at Exodus 3:14. Ehyeh asher ehyeh literally translates as "I Will Be What I Will Be", with attendant theological and mystical implications in Jewish tradition. However, in most English Bibles, in particular the King James Version, this phrase is rendered as I am that I am.

I could add more but I think I need to post and start thinking about tomorrow.