24 April, 2008

Memorial prayer — now in English

Filed under: Chazanut,Siddur by Joel @ 9:58 pm, 24 April 2008.

I’ve updated the chart linked from my previous post to include an English translation. Thought that might help some people.

Memorial prayer

Filed under: Chazanut,Siddur by Joel @ 12:12 am, 24 April 2008.

I will be singing next week at one of the communal commemorations for the Holocaust next Wednesday night. At first I was going to only be singing with the Sydney Jewish Choral Society (my usual Wednesday night entertainment), but they invited me also to sing El Male Rachamim (the memorial prayer) alone.

Not only do I have to work out the tune, but there seem to be a variety of texts for the purpose. This chart compares a few samples. Any bits people particularly like or don’t like??

  • Is God a dweller on high, or a father to orphans?
  • Should God procure space upon or under the wings of His presence?
  • Do we mourn “6 million Jews”, or “our brothers, Children of Israel”, or “multitudes of thousands of Israel”, or the “holy and pure”?
  • Do we specify “men, women and children”?
  • Do we state that their death was “in the sanctification of God’s Name”?
  • What different means of death should we list?
  • Do we name the holocaust, or list the camps, or mention Germans, or Nazis, or that their name should be erased?
  • Do we give attribution to our prayer for them, or to our charity on their behalf?
  • Do we mention that among them were the righteous and learned?
  • And why is יום pluralised irregularly as ימין when it follows the word קץ?

23 April, 2008


Filed under: General by Joel @ 11:53 pm, 23 April 2008.

I just remembered that I’m now well past page 123 of The Surgeon of Crowthorne (I’m well past the book’s end). Unfortunately, I can’t say that the 6th, 7th and 8th sentences on the page (see the meme) are the most exciting:

Each and every time he found a word that piqued his interest he wrote it down, in tiny, almost microscopic letters, in its proper position on the eight-page quire he had made. The unique manner of his procedure was soon to become a hallmark of Minor’s astonishing accuracy and eye for detail.

I used to write in tiny, almost microscopic letters. It was actually somewhat more legible than my usual scrawl.

I never wrote any entries for a dictionary, though, which is the subject of this book: a man with paranoid schitzophrenia who made an enormous contribution to the Oxford English Dictionary from his padded cell. The book also uses this as a channel through which to marvel at the creation of the OED, whose concept of popular collaboration, along with its “complete” historical review of the English language, had been revolutionary and extraordinary (and in many ways still is). One could say it was really Dictionary 2.0.

Yes, you might see parallel’s to our contemporary grand collaboration, Wikipedia (which I have contributed to). Though it is much more based around consensus (or it would like to be) than editorial subtleties, and is a little more post-modern than to be concerned with extactitudes on some topics. And there is also an important immediacy factor playing a role in modern (espeically collaborative) media that wasn’t there before. And of course the monstrosity of Wikipedia brings me back to my honours work, which really I should be doing right about now…

So I guess even with a poor effort from myself, I have to tag. (For the tagged, take 6-8th sentences of p. 123 of nearest book, discuss and pass on as per meme.) I’m curious to hear what Alicia and Eve are reading in their respective corners of Asia. And Frikle has good literature. And DLC might find an interesting word to talk about on the 123rd page of some book. And, why not, my brother. See if he has the time for books at the moment…

Yay. My first not-so-viral meme over and done with!

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