Comfort In Colors (Randyjw; March 21, 2017)
“O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will set thy stones in fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.” Isaiah 54:11 (The Israel Bible™)
It is at times when the universe tries to tell us the same message in many different ways, that we must listen. It is in these days, when times are tough and life is difficult, that we can abstract the meaning from the simple thought that we are never alone, and that G-d is with us, and walks withs us, and wants to be with us, if we will only be with Him.
These soft coincidences can be brought closer through greater attenuation to appreciate their occurences and to concentrate on seeking them out. They are not so much hidden, as they are a background presence hovering in shyness for recognition. Seek them out and they will appear with greater frequency and strength, to comfort and gird you, as well.
This translation of the Prophet Isaiah verse, featured above, is found in The Israel Bible™, a compendium of commentary upon, and the inclusion of a new translation of, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation of the Tanach, the Jewish Bible comprised of the Torah (the Five books of Moses), as well as the books of Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings).
Presented initially as a monthly offering, the full set, compiled, edited and published by non-profit, Teach for Israel, was completed in October of 2015 and is offered through the website of its founder, Rabbi Tuly Weisz, where he serves as director at Israel365, and publisher of Breaking Israel News.
Rabbi Weisz received ordination via a rabbinic seminary of the Orthodox Yeshiva University and moved to Israel from the United States. Many people are not aware of the greater role which Rabbis fill, in addition to their congregational teachings within the synagogue. Besides being a spiritual leader and guider of their specific congregants, they also tend to take on greater roles wthin the community. They officiate at weddings, and gather the people and ensure a proper observance for the departure of one who has laid their body down in final rest. They counsel in matters of family and faith. They coordinate holiday observances and individual, and communal, rites of the same. They are often found engaging in philanthropic humanitarian work to uplift their fellow human being in physical body, or in promoting the fulfillment of the soul through spiritual enlightenment via oral debate or written expression in treatises and books.
Rabbi Weisz is a hardworking person who has managed to do all of the above. Through his assorted websites, his work to help others is occasionally shared, and it is then when we realize to what great extent an all-encompassing scope of accomplishment an individual can achieve in their singular determination to enrich and bless others.
There is so much within the Tanach that serves as inspiration, lesson and guide. It contains studies in history, architecture, archaeology, geography, sociology, poetry, family matters and more. It speaks of the nature of G-d, as well as the nature of humankind. It is used as a guidebook and reference for tourism within Israel, and it was, indeed, a purchase I needed to make in my parallel quest of the same.
It was there in a small, individualistic bookshop in Jerusalem, one day, where my own personal comfort was found. The man tending the customers was a great help: proferring through suggestion appropriate volumes for the need, and retreating to let the individual explore at his own initiative and pace, as desired. It is often that a reader can become enmeshed in and lost within such an environment. And it was in that private space where I escaped into great literature.
The published works of Israel’s top archaeologists could be found amongst its shelves. I found exactly what I needed for my project there. I spent a great deal of luxurious time selecting different tomes to browse, while the man engaged with his own work — it seemed he was enjoying his own pursuits, in his own space, of the same.
When it came time to proffer a selection of easily transported Bibles for my choice, his initial offering was a larger version of the JPS Bible, such as the one used by many Jewish people and the same by which The Israel Bible™ is based. It was still a bit more wieldy than I had had in mind, and I am not a particularly ardent fan of the English translation by which JPS has published, as matter of personal taste. I did, though, then come to love his second choice for me: the Koren Publishers (Jerusalem) version of the Tanach, which I’ve written lovingly about before, and will probably do so again. It contains a straightforward translation, with correct nameplaces and proper names, as well as a linear alignment of the script to compare with, and to be able to learn from, the Hebrew to the English, and vice-versa. It really gave me a greater comprehension of the language and the text, in this format.
So, it was there, in this one place, that I found my escapists’ paradise, and the many colors which would form, and inform, my life. And it was the happiest moment of my life when I walked down the dappled street beneath the canopy of shady tree leaves when my most blissful moment occured — and it was as I walked to Temple. There are other moments of exceptional color that have appeared like a rainbow from the mist; you might know just what I mean…
(Compilation from multiple online sources derived mostly from the source and concurrent connections.)