Thursday, February 7, 2008

Prayer Before Sleep

I have been blessed twice in recent months to hear a wonderful piece of music, "Prayer Before Sleep" from Robinovitch's Talmud Suite. It was sung in Hebrew both times, to lovely music, but I was glad an English translation was provided each time, as the text is what I found the most moving of all:

Prayer Before Sleep

Exalted art Thou, I my Lord
Who art God and King of the World,
Who weighs down my eyes
With gentle bonds of sleep,
And refreshes my tired spirit with slumber.

May it ever be Thy will,
Lord, my God, and God of all my fathers,
To lay me down in untroubled peace
And raise me up in peace once more.

Do not let dark imaginings disturb me
With thoughts of sin and despair.
O heal my fear and my suffering –
May my bed be enclosed in Thy care.

Give light unto my eyes
Lest the sleep of death o’ertake me.
For ‘tis Thou who breathes life
Into man’s slumb’ring soul.

Exalted art Thou, O Lord,
Who illuminates all the world
With His glory.

I was so moved upon hearing it, in fact, that I was compelled to consult my old friend, Google, to at least learn a little basic information about the Talmud, as I really know so very little about the Jewish faith. I did learn a little in my poking around, and I think it would be interesting to learn a bit more, actually.

But I thought it fairly profound to see the following words at at the bottom of one page of information from a Jewish site:

"Please note that this page contains the name of God.
If you print it out, please treat it with appropriate respect.”

Never really thought of that before - but it makes good sense to me.

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