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Shir HaShirim

Solomons' Song of Songs 

Source Sheet by Naomi Zaslow
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Created May 16, 2016 · 2762 Views · נוצר 16 May, 2016 · 2762 צפיות ·

  1. "... Every relationship has a commanding quality to it. Every relationship compels the participants to behave in a way that is appropriate to the relationship. God's love for Israel is all that is needed to inspire Israel to live a certain way. Contra the traditionalists, then, what was revealed was not the specific commandments but the fact of being commanded. But, contra Kaplan, God is very much the authority -  however implicit - for the commandments, just as a lover's expressions of affection are governed by the presence and implicit wishes of the beloved." (p.24, Sacred Fragments, Neil Gillman. 1990)

  2.  

     Part 1: Shir HaShirim and Passover

    Why do we read Song of Songs on Passover?

  3. Possible Connection #1

     

    “And it is the custom to read Shir HaShirim on Shabbat of Chol HaMoed Pesach 

    because it speaks of the redemption of our people from Egypt,

    as is written (Shir HaShirim 1:9),

    L’susati b’richvei Paroh dimitich rayati"

    "With My mighty steeds who battled Pharaoh’s riders

    I revealed that you are My beloved.”"

    - The Rema in his book of Halacha  

     

        The Zohar tells us that Song of Songs embodies the entire Torah, the story of the exile in Egypt, and the redemption of Israel from there, as well as from the other oppressors, so that by reading it we are enhancing the mitzvah of recounting the story of the Exodus.

        Another reason for reading Song of Songs [is] that Passover is a time of love between G-d and Israel, who entered into a covenant and became betrothed [engaged] to G-d through the Exodus from Egypt [see Ezekiel, 16]. -- Chabad.org

     

    1) How does the Zohar connect Shir HaShirim to Passover? 

     


     


     


     

  4. (י) עָנָה דוֹדִי וְאָמַר לִי קוּמִי לָךְ רַעְיָתִי יָפָתִי וּלְכִי לָךְ. (יא) כִּי הִנֵּה הסתו [הַסְּתָיו] עָבָר הַגֶּשֶׁם חָלַף הָלַךְ לוֹ. (יב) הַנִּצָּנִים נִרְאוּ בָאָרֶץ עֵת הַזָּמִיר הִגִּיעַ וְקוֹל הַתּוֹר נִשְׁמַע בְּאַרְצֵנוּ. (יג) הַתְּאֵנָה חָנְטָה פַגֶּיהָ וְהַגְּפָנִים סְמָדַר נָתְנוּ רֵיחַ קוּמִי לכי [לָךְ] רַעְיָתִי יָפָתִי וּלְכִי לָךְ.

    (10) My beloved spoke, and said unto me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (11) For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; (12) The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (13) The fig-tree puts forth her green figs, And the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

  5. 2) What themes do we see in this primary text that might connect it to Passover?

     


     


     


     


     

  6. (יד) יוֹנָתִי בְּחַגְוֵי הַסֶּלַע בְּסֵתֶר הַמַּדְרֵגָה הַרְאִינִי אֶת מַרְאַיִךְ הַשְׁמִיעִינִי אֶת קוֹלֵךְ כִּי קוֹלֵךְ עָרֵב וּמַרְאֵיךְ נָאוֶה.

    (14) O my dove, you are in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, Let me see your face, let me hear your voice; For sweet is your voice, and your face is comely.’

  7. R. Eliezer decoded the verse in the hour that Israel stood at the sea.

    • My dove in the cleft of the rock in the hiding place of the steep [Song 2:14], that they were hidden in the hiding place of the sea
    • Show me your visage; this is what is written, “Stand forth and see the salvation of the Lord” [Exod. 14:13]
    • Let me hear your voice; this is the singing, as it says, “Then Moses sang” [Ex. 15:1]
    • For your voice is lovely; this is the Song
    • And your visage is beautiful; for Israel were pointing with their fingers and say­ing “This is my God and I will beautify Him” [Ex. 15:2].

     

    3)  How does Rabbi Eliezer see a connection between leaving Egypt and Shir HaShirim?

     


     


     


     


     

  8. Part 2: Samples from Shir HaShirim 

    The Song of Songs has been seen across time as both an intimate love poem, and also as a metaphor of the connection God has with us. 

    What do you think?

  9. (א) שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִשְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ (ב) יִשָּׁקֵ֙נִי֙ מִנְּשִׁיק֣וֹת פִּ֔יהוּ כִּֽי־טוֹבִ֥ים דֹּדֶ֖יךָ מִיָּֽיִן׃ (ג) לְרֵ֙יחַ֙ שְׁמָנֶ֣יךָ טוֹבִ֔ים שֶׁ֖מֶן תּוּרַ֣ק שְׁמֶ֑ךָ עַל־כֵּ֖ן עֲלָמ֥וֹת אֲהֵבֽוּךָ׃ (ד) מָשְׁכֵ֖נִי אַחֲרֶ֣יךָ נָּר֑וּצָה הֱבִיאַ֨נִי הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ חֲדָרָ֗יו נָגִ֤ילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה֙ בָּ֔ךְ נַזְכִּ֤ירָה דֹדֶ֙יךָ֙ מִיַּ֔יִן מֵישָׁרִ֖ים אֲהֵבֽוּךָ׃ (ס)
    (1) THE song of songs, which is Solomon’s. (2) Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— For thy love is better than wine. (3) Thine ointments have a goodly fragrance; Thy name is as ointment poured forth; Therefore do the maidens love thee. (4) Draw me, we will run after thee; The king hath brought me into his chambers; We will be glad and rejoice in thee, We will find thy love more fragrant than wine! Sincerely do they love thee.
  10. 4) Does this seem more like a love poem, or like the connection that Jews want to have with God? Why?

     


     


     


     


     

  11. (ט) לְסֻסָתִי֙ בְּרִכְבֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה דִּמִּיתִ֖יךְ רַעְיָתִֽי׃ (י) נָאו֤וּ לְחָיַ֙יִךְ֙ בַּתֹּרִ֔ים צַוָּארֵ֖ךְ בַּחֲרוּזִֽים׃ (יא) תּוֹרֵ֤י זָהָב֙ נַעֲשֶׂה־לָּ֔ךְ עִ֖ם נְקֻדּ֥וֹת הַכָּֽסֶף׃
    (9) I have compared thee, O my love, To a steed in Pharaoh’s chariots. (10) Thy cheeks are comely with circlets, Thy neck with beads. (11) We will make thee circlets of gold With studs of silver.
  12. (טו) הִנָּ֤ךְ יָפָה֙ רַעְיָתִ֔י הִנָּ֥ךְ יָפָ֖ה עֵינַ֥יִךְ יוֹנִֽים׃ (טז) הִנְּךָ֨ יָפֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ אַ֣ף נָעִ֔ים אַף־עַרְשֵׂ֖נוּ רַעֲנָנָֽה׃ (יז) קֹר֤וֹת בָּתֵּ֙ינוּ֙ אֲרָזִ֔ים רחיטנו [רַהִיטֵ֖נוּ] בְּרוֹתִֽים׃
    (15) Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; Thine eyes are as doves. . (16) Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant; Also our couch is leafy. (17) The beams of our houses are cedars, And our panels are cypresses.
  13. 5) In verse 9-11 and 15-17, what animals are used in the metaphor? Why do you think they are used to describe a relationship? 

     


     


     


     


     

  14. (ח) ק֣וֹל דּוֹדִ֔י הִנֵּה־זֶ֖ה בָּ֑א מְדַלֵּג֙ עַל־הֶ֣הָרִ֔ים מְקַפֵּ֖ץ עַל־הַגְּבָעֽוֹת׃ (ט) דּוֹמֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ לִצְבִ֔י א֖וֹ לְעֹ֣פֶר הָֽאַיָּלִ֑ים הִנֵּה־זֶ֤ה עוֹמֵד֙ אַחַ֣ר כָּתְלֵ֔נוּ מַשְׁגִּ֙יחַ֙ מִן־הַֽחֲלֹּנ֔וֹת מֵצִ֖יץ מִן־הַֽחֲרַכִּֽים׃ (י) עָנָ֥ה דוֹדִ֖י וְאָ֣מַר לִ֑י ק֥וּמִי לָ֛ךְ רַעְיָתִ֥י יָפָתִ֖י וּלְכִי־לָֽךְ׃ (יא) כִּֽי־הִנֵּ֥ה הסתו [הַסְּתָ֖יו] עָבָ֑ר הַגֶּ֕שֶׁם חָלַ֖ף הָלַ֥ךְ לֽוֹ׃ (יב) הַנִּצָּנִים֙ נִרְא֣וּ בָאָ֔רֶץ עֵ֥ת הַזָּמִ֖יר הִגִּ֑יעַ וְק֥וֹל הַתּ֖וֹר נִשְׁמַ֥ע בְּאַרְצֵֽנוּ׃ (יג) הַתְּאֵנָה֙ חָֽנְטָ֣ה פַגֶּ֔יהָ וְהַגְּפָנִ֥ים ׀ סְמָדַ֖ר נָ֣תְנוּ רֵ֑יחַ ק֥וּמִי לכי [לָ֛ךְ] רַעְיָתִ֥י יָפָתִ֖י וּלְכִי־לָֽךְ׃ (ס) (יד) יוֹנָתִ֞י בְּחַגְוֵ֣י הַסֶּ֗לַע בְּסֵ֙תֶר֙ הַמַּדְרֵגָ֔ה הַרְאִ֙ינִי֙ אֶתּ־מַרְאַ֔יִךְ הַשְׁמִיעִ֖ינִי אֶת־קוֹלֵ֑ךְ כִּי־קוֹלֵ֥ךְ עָרֵ֖ב וּמַרְאֵ֥יךְ נָאוֶֽה׃ (ס) (טו) אֶֽחֱזוּ־לָ֙נוּ֙ שֽׁוּעָלִ֔ים שֽׁוּעָלִ֥ים קְטַנִּ֖ים מְחַבְּלִ֣ים כְּרָמִ֑ים וּכְרָמֵ֖ינוּ סְמָדַֽר׃ (טז) דּוֹדִ֥י לִי֙ וַאֲנִ֣י ל֔וֹ הָרֹעֶ֖ה בַּשּׁוֹשַׁנִּֽים׃ (יז) עַ֤ד שֶׁיָּפ֙וּחַ֙ הַיּ֔וֹם וְנָ֖סוּ הַצְּלָלִ֑ים סֹב֩ דְּמֵה־לְךָ֨ דוֹדִ֜י לִצְבִ֗י א֛וֹ לְעֹ֥פֶר הָאַיָּלִ֖ים עַל־הָ֥רֵי בָֽתֶר׃ (ס)

    (8) Hark! my beloved! behold, he cometh, Leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. (9) My beloved is like a gazelle or a young hart; Behold, he standeth behind our wall, He looketh in through the windows, He peereth through the lattice. (10) My beloved spoke, and said unto me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. (11) For, lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone; (12) The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing is come, And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; (13) The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, And the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. (14) O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the covert of the cliff, Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; For sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.’ (15) ’Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vineyards; For our vineyards are in blossom.’ (16) My beloved is mine, and I am his, That feedeth among the lilies. (17) Until the day breathe, and the shadows flee away, Turn, my beloved, and be thou like a gazelle or a young hart Upon the mountains of spices.

  15. 6) In verse 16 it says, "My beloved is mine, and I am his." What does this phrase mean? Is it an ideal to strive for in relationships? Why or why not? 

     


     


     


     


     

  16. (א) עַל־מִשְׁכָּבִי֙ בַּלֵּיל֔וֹת בִּקַּ֕שְׁתִּי אֵ֥ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֖ה נַפְשִׁ֑י בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֖יו וְלֹ֥א מְצָאתִֽיו׃ (ב) אָק֨וּמָה נָּ֜א וַאֲסוֹבְבָ֣ה בָעִ֗יר בַּשְּׁוָקִים֙ וּבָ֣רְחֹב֔וֹת אֲבַקְשָׁ֕ה אֵ֥ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֖ה נַפְשִׁ֑י בִּקַּשְׁתִּ֖יו וְלֹ֥א מְצָאתִֽיו׃ (ג) מְצָא֙וּנִי֙ הַשֹּׁ֣מְרִ֔ים הַסֹּבְבִ֖ים בָּעִ֑יר אֵ֛ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֥ה נַפְשִׁ֖י רְאִיתֶֽם׃ (ד) כִּמְעַט֙ שֶׁעָבַ֣רְתִּי מֵהֶ֔ם עַ֣ד שֶֽׁמָּצָ֔אתִי אֵ֥ת שֶׁאָהֲבָ֖ה נַפְשִׁ֑י אֲחַזְתִּיו֙ וְלֹ֣א אַרְפֶּ֔נּוּ עַד־שֶׁ֤הֲבֵיאתִיו֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית אִמִּ֔י ...

    (1) By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him, but I found him not. (2) ’I will rise now, and go about the city, In the streets and in the broad ways, I will seek him whom my soul loves.’ I sought him, but I found him not. (3) The watchmen that go about the city found me: ‘Have you seen the one I love?’ (4) Scarce had I passed from them, When I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, Until I had brought him into my mother’s house.

  17. 7) The search for one's love has been compared to a search for higher spiritual meaning in life - a sometimes endless search with no guarantee of success. Do you think that the search for love is a worthwhile search? What about the search for higher emotional or spiritual meaning? Why or why not? 

     


     


     


     


     


     

  18. (י) דּוֹדִ֥י צַח֙ וְאָד֔וֹם דָּג֖וּל מֵרְבָבָֽה׃ (יא) רֹאשׁ֖וֹ כֶּ֣תֶם פָּ֑ז קְוּצּוֹתָיו֙ תַּלְתַּלִּ֔ים שְׁחֹר֖וֹת כָּעוֹרֵֽב׃ (יב) עֵינָ֕יו כְּיוֹנִ֖ים עַל־אֲפִ֣יקֵי מָ֑יִם רֹֽחֲצוֹת֙ בֶּֽחָלָ֔ב יֹשְׁב֖וֹת עַל־מִלֵּֽאת׃ (יג) לְחָיָו֙ כַּעֲרוּגַ֣ת הַבֹּ֔שֶׂם מִגְדְּל֖וֹת מֶרְקָחִ֑ים שִׂפְתוֹתָיו֙ שֽׁוֹשַׁנִּ֔ים נֹטְפ֖וֹת מ֥וֹר עֹבֵֽר׃ (יד) יָדָיו֙ גְּלִילֵ֣י זָהָ֔ב מְמֻלָּאִ֖ים בַּתַּרְשִׁ֑ישׁ מֵעָיו֙ עֶ֣שֶׁת שֵׁ֔ן מְעֻלֶּ֖פֶת סַפִּירִֽים׃ (טו) שׁוֹקָיו֙ עַמּ֣וּדֵי שֵׁ֔שׁ מְיֻסָּדִ֖ים עַל־אַדְנֵי־פָ֑ז מַרְאֵ֙הוּ֙ כַּלְּבָנ֔וֹן בָּח֖וּר כָּאֲרָזִֽים׃ (טז) חִכּוֹ֙ מַֽמְתַקִּ֔ים וְכֻלּ֖וֹ מַחֲּמַדִּ֑ים זֶ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ וְזֶ֣ה רֵעִ֔י בְּנ֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם׃

    (10) ’My beloved is white and ruddy, Pre-eminent above ten thousand. (11) His head is as the most fine gold, His locks are curled, And black as a raven. (12) His eyes are like doves Beside the water-brooks; Washed with milk, And fitly set. (13) His cheeks are as a bed of spices, As banks of sweet herbs; His lips are as lilies, Dropping with flowing myrrh. (14) His hands are as rods of gold Set with beryl; His body is as polished ivory Overlaid with sapphires. (15) His legs are as pillars of marble, Set upon sockets of fine gold; His aspect is like Lebanon, Excellent as the cedars. (16) His mouth is most sweet; Yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.’

  19. 8) What does this man look like? Draw your understanding below:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  20. (יא) אֲנִ֣י לְדוֹדִ֔י וְעָלַ֖י תְּשׁוּקָתֽוֹ׃ (ס) (יב) לְכָ֤ה דוֹדִי֙ נֵצֵ֣א הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה נָלִ֖ינָה בַּכְּפָרִֽים׃ (יג) נַשְׁכִּ֙ימָה֙ לַכְּרָמִ֔ים נִרְאֶ֞ה אִם פָּֽרְחָ֤ה הַגֶּ֙פֶן֙ פִּתַּ֣ח הַסְּמָדַ֔ר הֵנֵ֖צוּ הָרִמּוֹנִ֑ים שָׁ֛ם אֶתֵּ֥ן אֶת־דֹּדַ֖י לָֽךְ׃ (יד) הַֽדּוּדָאִ֣ים נָֽתְנוּ־רֵ֗יחַ וְעַל־פְּתָחֵ֙ינוּ֙ כָּל־מְגָדִ֔ים חֲדָשִׁ֖ים גַּם־יְשָׁנִ֑ים דּוֹדִ֖י צָפַ֥נְתִּי לָֽךְ׃
    (11) I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. (12) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. (13) Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see whether the vine hath budded, whether the vine-blossom be opened, and the pomegranates be in flower; there will I give thee my love. (14) The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and at our doors are all manner of precious fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
  21. 9) What are your final thoughts? Is Shir HaShirim about people, or the relationship that we can have with God? Do you think Passover is the best time of year to read this text? Why or why not?

     


     


     


     


     


     

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