Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

As I have been writing on the psalms in a predictable fashion, reading them as one would read a novel, and as I have been correcting broken links in my journey through old things that I and others have said on the psalms, I occasionally come across some funny old posts - here's one on letter counts - complete with a query on what letters are used and not used in each of the psalms.

Sunday 26 December 2010

Saturday 25 December 2010

Christmas walk - 2010

The sun shone brightly this morning on the waters of the Straits of Georgia and on the peaks of the Olympic mountains in Washington across the water from us.

Monday 20 December 2010

Christmas 2010

#3 – 906 St Charles Street, 19 December 2010
Dear Family and Friends,
This has been a year of celebration and sadness, farewells and feasts.
2010-11, the 25th anniversary of the GVYO, is dedicated to the memory of our beloved director János Sándor, who died in May. The baton has passed to his colleague, student and friend Yariv Aloni, whom János mentored as he had countless musicians throughout his full rich life. Silver Season concerts this fall featured superb performances by alumni Jonathan Crow (Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto) and Sarah MacDonald (Poulenc Organ Concerto), commending 25 years of Work in Progress, the title of a film made about the GVYO in this banner and memorable year.
Diana continues her work with the orchestra, as 25th Anniversary Project Coordinator. She had the privilege of presenting a reflection at the memorial service for János. This was the second of two ‘micro-sermons’ Di was asked to give during the year, the first having been for one of the services celebrating St. John’s Church 150th anniversary year. Preparing a sermon is a significant and humbling task.
Bob, now post 65, is still working at AMA and immersed in the study of Hebrew poetry. The language was great for identifying hummus in Israeli grocery stores – that's חומס, roughly.

Here is our year-in-review. You’ll see our busy-ness did not prevent an inordinate amount of holiday travels!

February: Ten days on the Big Island of Hawaii with our friends John and Helen Money – tennis every day, flowers galore, stargazing, snorkelling, coffee tasting, and hiking around volcanoes.

April: after 15 years we finally bought a new car – a Prius (Hybrid), a good thing considering all this holidaying!

May-June: after a quick trip to Winnipeg Di and Simon took a road trip west through the Rockies to meet Bob and Jennifer and Stephanie in the Okanagan, for a holiday with Bob's brother Bill and wife Jeanne, and Di’s brother Jim and wife Ardis, not to mention the dogs. Biking, barbecuing, more tennis and wine tasting! The Chateau St-Charles Winery, after declaring incompetence, is now officially out of business.

June: Di and Simon threw a surprise party for Jeremy’s 40th birthday. Jer put red windshield wipers on the Civic!

July: here at home for a sail on the HMCS Oriole with GVYO friends, two wonderful weeks of Duruflé with Garth MacPhee – and more tennis!

August: Di flew to UK for Sarah’s organ recital at St Paul's Cathedral London and visited the sweet little house in Cambridge newly bought and proudly owned by Sarah and Marcus. Di joined Marcus and Rita as groupies on tour to Paris where Sarah conducted Ely Cathedral Girls at Notre Dame (and others). We ate pastries, climbed la Tour Eiffel and finally visited Musée d’Orsay, then returned to London where Sarah directed the girls, now joined by the Lay Clerks, at Evensong in Westminster Abbey.
And Di arrived home just in time to prepare…

September: a second surprise party, this time for Bob’s 65th, with lots of friends, family and surprise guests, Simon and Jennifer. Two days later Bob flew to Ottawa. Di joined Bob the following week and we drove to Kingston to hear Sarah's Selwyn College Chapel Choir on tour, and to meet Bob's old school friend Peter whom he had not seen for 48 years (a story in itself). Di returned home and Bob flew to the UK for a conference on the Psalms in Oxford followed by two weeks reading at the University Library in Cambridge, again thanks to the very patient and ubiquitous Sarah - talk about seven-league boots!

But wait – we’re not finished – we met, next month in …

October: Jerusalem! - fulfilling years of anticipation, and no small preparation. Of course this visit just happened to coincide with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s 75th Anniversary Tour, and we watched Jennifer dance in two performances! After 12 days ‘walking about Zion and considering her citadels’ Di ‘translates’ the psalm: Jerusalem is builded as a city that is at enmity with itself. Bob’s take is similar: Jerusalem is built as a pomegranate in razor wire.

We had time to explore everything from Holy Sepulchre and Yad Vashem (Sho’a memorial designed by Canada’s Moishe Safdie) to the City of David (Hezekiah’s Tunnel, 7th Century BCE) and the more we saw the more we felt we needed to see. But time ran out and we took to the road with our Lonely Planet Guide and spent nine days exploring the rest of this ancient and complex Land that is called Holy.
We had walked the ramparts above the old romantic walls of Jerusalem. We were ushered through the new and frighteningly unromantic walls of its neighbour Bethlehem. There be scaffolding in the Church of the Nativity and shops where olive wood is sold in abundance. High-rises are cheek by jowl on the hillsides. The Dead Sea is weird and Di got muddy. Qumran is hot. The hills above the Sea of Galilee are as cool and vegetarian as our own Hornby Island. The Golan Heights and Nimrod’s Castle are high and mighty. The town of Nazareth is bewildering, but our stay there was a highlight. We were housed in a partially restored Ottoman mansion owned, managed and staffed by Jews, Christians and Moslems, some paid, others volunteers from around the globe. Eventually we found ourselves in Tel Aviv on the beach for 36 hours, just prior to the long flights home, where it took weeks to realize we were not in hotels halfway around the world.
There are many pictures – the summary is here:
And while you're there, do take a gander at Bob's translations. Especially fun is Qohelet in the style of Dr Seuss.
Our love and Christmas Blessings to you all.
Bob and Di

Sunday 19 December 2010

Letters I never knew disappear or get the L outa here

I am working my way through the psalms - and posting little as I study 'the vocabulary of recurrence', that is my 500 or so words that sound alike or have the same roots in the 19500 word forms in the psalter.

What do you make of psalm 49 - the verb acquire, לָקַח, get, actually drops the letter ל from the root like weak I-yod and I-nun verbs drop their yods and nuns!  I had not seen this before in studying letter behaviour among Hebrew word forms.

Only in psalm 49 - see text here - does this word recur as a potential frame in the psalter.

Here is the bit that is framed - selah - think about it.
you will not fear when someone becomes rich
for the increase of the glory of his house

Sunday 12 December 2010

The day of the performance

The day of the rehearsal

Here are some pictures from our Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra concert with my daughter, Sarah, playing the Poulenc Organ Concerto.  Sorry I can't give you an excerpt. It was a stunning work in performance the next day.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

The Senior Testament

How's that for a nice name for the OT?

Now, here's the question or two.

I would love to see developed thoughts on the Senior Testament connections to the unity texts of ch. 17 of John.

Doesn't that sound like a good thesis topic?

And #2

Why is it that Jesus calls his commandment a 'new' commandment?

Saturday 4 December 2010


Psalms 39, 62, and 77 all have a superscription to Jeduthun (39) or against Jeduthun (62, 77). Jeduthun is a name used elsewhere as noted in this article from Wikiperdia - ha ha - you can verify the references.

Jim West asked about this on his Biblical Studies list. He wonders 'are there instances in the psalms where 'al' is definitely used in connection with a clearly proper noun?' My posts don't show up on that list, so I am posting my answer here. The list can't handle unicode, and I don't get email from it - too much volume on questions that I have little or no interest in. But it looks as if there will be a good discussion coming up January 10 list on Jesus, John and History with guest Tom Thatcher. (You need to be a member of this group to see the list).

In the Psalms, על is used with proper names such as the name of God, or Zion, or Edom, or Israel. Other uses of the preposition are in the list below. It seems to me that there would not be any distinction in a language of what prepositions can be used with common or proper nouns. While there are few personal names in the psalms, the examples show that other classes of proper nouns (place names, the Divine name) are used with this preposition.

על in the psalms: is על used with proper names?


Psalm 1.3על פלגי

Psalm 1.5על כן

Psalm 2.2על יהוה

Psalm 2.6על ציון

Psalm 3.9על עמך

Psalm 4.5על משׁכבכם

Psalm 6.1על השׁמינית

Psalm 7.1על דברי

Psalm 7.11על אלהים

Psalm 8.1על הגתית

Psalm 8.2על השׁמים

Psalm 9.1על מות

Psalm 9.20על פניך

Psalm 10.12על מה

Psalm 10.3על תאות

Psalm 11.2על יתר

Psalm 11.6על רשׁעים

Psalm 14.2על בני

Psalm 15.3על לשׁנו

Psalm 15.3על קרבו

Psalm 15.5על נקי

Psalm 16.4על שׂפתי

Psalm 18.11על כרוב

Psalm 18.11על כנפי

Psalm 18.42על יהוה

Psalm 18.43על פני

Psalm 18.50על כן

Psalm 19.7על קצותם

Psalm 21.13על פניהם

Psalm 22.1על אילת

Psalm 22.10על שׁדי

Psalm 23.1על מי

Psalm 24.2על ימים

Psalm 25.8על כן

Psalm 27.6על איבי

Psalm 29.3על המים

Psalm 29.3על מים

Psalm 31.17על עבדך

Psalm 31.19על צדיק

Psalm 31.24על יתר

Psalm 32.6על זאת

Psalm 35.13על חיקי

Psalm 36.5על משׁכבו

Psalm 36.5על דרך

Psalm 37.10על מקומו

Psalm 37.11על רב

Psalm 37.4על יהוה

Psalm 37.5על יהוה

Psalm 39.12על עון

Psalm 40.16על עקב

Psalm 40.3על סלע

Psalm 41.4על ערשׂ

Psalm 42.2על אפיקי

Psalm 42.7על כן

Psalm 45.1על שׁשׁנים

Psalm 45.18על כן

Psalm 45.3על כן

Psalm 45.4על ירך

Psalm 45.5על דבר

Psalm 45.8על כן

Psalm 46.0על עלמות

Psalm 46.2על כן

Psalm 47.3על כל

Psalm 47.9על גוים

Psalm 47.9על כסא

Psalm 48.11על קצוי

Psalm 48.15על מות

Psalm 49.7על חילם

Psalm 50.8על זבחיך

Psalm 51.21על מזבחך

Psalm 53.1על מחלת

Psalm 53.3על בני

Psalm 55.11על חומתיה

Psalm 55.23על יהוה

Psalm 56.1על יונת

Psalm 56.8על און

Psalm 57.12על השׁמים

Psalm 57.12על כל

Psalm 57.6על השׁמים

Psalm 57.6על כל

Psalm 60.1על שׁושׁן

Psalm 60.10על אדום

Psalm 61.1על נגינת

Psalm 61.7על ימי

Psalm 62.1על ידותון

Psalm 62.4על אישׁ

Psalm 62.8על אלהים

Psalm 63.11על ידי

Psalm 63.7על יצועי

Psalm 66.5על בני

Psalm 68.30על ירושׁלם

Psalm 68.35על ישׂראל

Psalm 69.1על שׁושׁנים

Psalm 69.28על עונם

Psalm 70.4על עקב

Psalm 71.14על כל

Psalm 72.13על דל

Psalm 72.6על גז

Psalm 74.13על המים

Psalm 77.1על ידותון

Psalm 79.9על דבר

Psalm 79.9על חטאתינו

Psalm 80.18על אישׁ

Psalm 80.18על בן

Psalm 81.1על הגתית

Psalm 81.6על ארץ

Psalm 81.8על מי

Psalm 83.19על כל

Psalm 83.4על עמך

Psalm 83.4על צפוניך

Psalm 84.1על הגתית

Psalm 88.1על מחלת

Psalm 89.20על גבור

Psalm 89.48על מה

Psalm 89.8על כל

Psalm 90.13על עבדיך

Psalm 90.16על בניהם

Psalm 91.12על כפים

Psalm 91.13על שׁחל

Psalm 94.2על גאים

Psalm 94.21על נפשׁ

Psalm 95.3על כל

Psalm 96.4על כל

Psalm 97.9על כל

Psalm 97.9על כל

Psalm 99.2על כל

Psalm 99.8על עלילותם

Psalm 102.8על גג

Psalm 103.11על הארץ

Psalm 103.11על יראיו

Psalm 103.13על בנים

Psalm 103.13על יראיו

Psalm 103.17על יראיו

Psalm 104.3על כנפי

Psalm 104.5על מכוניה

Psalm 104.6על הרים

Psalm 105.16על הארץ

Psalm 106.17על עדת

Psalm 106.22על ים

Psalm 106.32על מי

Psalm 106.7על ים

Psalm 107.40על נדיבים

Psalm 108.10על אדום

Psalm 108.6על שׁמים

Psalm 109.20על נפשׁי

Psalm 109.6על ימינו

Psalm 110.4על דברתי

Psalm 110.5על ימינך

Psalm 110.6על ארץ

Psalm 110.7על כן

Psalm 113.4על כל

Psalm 113.4על השׁמים

Psalm 115.1על חסדך

Psalm 115.1על אמתך

Psalm 119.104על כן

Psalm 119.127על כן

Psalm 119.128על כן

Psalm 119.129על כן

Psalm 119.136על לא

Psalm 119.162על אמרתך

Psalm 119.164על משׁפטי

Psalm 119.17על עבדך

Psalm 119.49על אשׁר

Psalm 119.62על משׁפטי

Psalm 121.5על יד

Psalm 124.4על נפשׁנו

Psalm 124.5על נפשׁנו

Psalm 125.3על גורל

Psalm 125.5על ישׂראל

Psalm 128.6על ישׂראל

Psalm 129.3על גבי

Psalm 132.3על ערשׂ

Psalm 133.2על הראשׁ

Psalm 133.2על הזקן

Psalm 133.2על פי

Psalm 133.3על הררי

Psalm 136.6על המים

Psalm 137.1על נהרות

Psalm 137.2על ערבים

Psalm 137.4על אדמת

Psalm 137.6על ראשׁ

Psalm 138.2על חסדך

Psalm 138.2על כל

Psalm 138.7על אף

Psalm 139.14על כי

Psalm 141.3על דל

Psalm 145.9על כל

Psalm 146.5על יהוה

Psalm 148.13על ארץ

Psalm 149.5על משׁכבותם

Thursday 2 December 2010

Must not spare the praise for Psalm 9 CEV

I like very much the laying out of the acrostic letters in Psalm 9. The layout implies that daleth is verse 6. It is the ד that is missing - verse 6 (Hebrew verse 7) is ה.

There is a suggestion that Psalm 10 is also part of the acrostic, but there only one letter ל is noted. There are more: מ, נ, ס, ע, פ, צ are missing but the remainder ק ר ש ת are quite clear.

It is such a good idea to name and note the Hebrew letters. It gives the reader the sense that the text is old and different and not 'common'.

There are 8 opportunities to teach the letters, but they have taken only 2: Psalm 9 and Psalm 119. These are opportunities missed, I think. Particularly since all the acrostics in book 5 are perfect but each in book 1 is missing at least one letter.

My Sunday School children love learning the Hebrew letters. They particularly like puzzles - like why are the acrostics not perfect in book 1 but are in book 5?

These are ordinary uncommon children.

Here's a great invention

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