The Poetry of The Heart of Rabbi Nachman from Bratslav

UPDATE: One of my students wrote,”I think ‘Song of the Meadow’ or’ Meadow Song’ would be a good consideration for the title because a meadow includes grass and weeds, yet when you walk through the meadow you can see every blade of grass and every sprig of weed”.

What do you think ? What is your favorite English translation of the word עשב ?

Rabbi Nachman from Bratslav was a great grandson of Baal Shem Tov: he believed that through walking in nature the heart has the ability to open and one can pour his heart as written in Psalms 102:1, “and before God he shall pour his heart”.  ”

ולפני ה’ ישפוך שיחו

The Song of Weeds

Behold thee

That every shepherd and shepherd

Brings out to life

his own special tune.

Behold thee

That every grass and weed

Has a special singing

of its own

And from the singing of the weeds

A tune of a shepherds

being made.

How beautiful

Beauty and pleasance

while we’re paying attention

to their sound

How good it is

To pray among them

and with a joy

to worship the Name

and from the the singing of the weeds

the heart fulfills and belongs.

And as the heart

from the singing is longing

and is yearning to the land of biggest joy

Great light

continues and growing

from radiance of the country for him

and from the singing of the weeds

A song of a heart is being made.

Music by Naomi Shemer, Voice Shuli Rand

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She’s also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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  • lilach

    love it !

  • PB

    Beautiful singing… I was able to follow the music while reading your translation. Since I didn’t find the lyrics, I will try to write down what I understood first and then maybe you could help me fill the blanks in our next lesson. Thank you Eti.

  • e.klein

    שירת העשבים

    דע לך
    שכל רועה ורועה
    יש לו ניגון מיוחד
    דע לך
    שכל עשב ועשב
    יש לו שירה מיוחדת
    ומשירת העשבים
    נעשה ניגון
    של רועה

    כמה יפה
    כמה יפה ונאה
    כששומעים השירה
    טוב מאוד
    להתפלל ביניהם
    ובשמחה לעבוד
    את השם
    ומשירת העשבים
    מתמלא הלב

    מן השירה מתמלא
    אל ארץ ישראל
    אור גדול
    אזי נמשך והולך
    מקדושתה של הארץ
    ומשירת העשבים
    נעשה ניגון
    של הלב.