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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