Haazinu, Small Alef; poetry


Give ear O heavens and I will speak
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth
May my teaching drop like the rain
my utterance flow like the dew
like storm winds upon vegetation
and like raindrops upon blades of grass.
[Deut. 32:1ff.]

Remember the days of old.

G*d is a rock
all G*d’s paths are just.

From his hands Moses picked out a lightning bolt
that had burned itself into his flesh
he threw it to the ground:
Give ear O heavens
let the earth hear the words of my mouth
he plied a thunderbolt out of his teeth
and buried it in the ground,
he began to teach:

G*d was like an eagle
arousing its nest
hovering over its young
spreading its wings
carrying them
touching and not touching. [Rashi on 32:11]

Compassionate eagle
returning to the nest
not to disturb its young,

Protecting eagle
covering in flight [Ibn Ezra on 32:11]
G*d covers us flying flying.

Blessing dwells and awakens the life force within
rooted we are
inwardliness – awakening
heaven and earth
the stories and the written text.
Let the teachings drop like rain [Deut. 32:2]
bringing forth fruit,

Remember the days of old.

So you got fat [Deut. 32:15]
G*d would have suckled you with honey from a rock
and oil from a flinty stone
butter of cattle milk of sheep
fat of lambs
but you became thick
and kicked —

Well, you can always come back.
Return, O Israel.
kick and drink the good wine from the grape
unfermented blood of the grape.

Give up your non-G*ds
become real.
You’re a generation of reversals. [Deut. 32:20]

Who is a rock
who is perfect
whose paths are just —
what is the climbing vine
the fructifying rain.

Remember the days of old
understand the years of generation to generation.

Return O Israel to your G*d [Hosea 14:2]
I will heal their disloyalty
I will love them freely. [Hosea 14:5]

Tell them
they can always
come home.

Moses spoke all the words of this poem
into the ears of the people
Moses and his successor
Hoshea son of Nun.

Then G*d spoke to Moses on that very day

apply your hearts to all these words [Deut. 32:46-47]
for it is not an empty thing
it is your life.


An angel came to me and brought Torah Haazinu

Maqam* Bayat (D E half-flat F G)

*The Oriental Maqam gives a distinct musical character to every Sabbbath.