Today my family and I went to a funeral service for the passing of my wife's great uncle, Uncle Marty. He was 93 and the last few years were a struggle for him. He's now at peace and with his beloved wife Esther. May the Lord eternally shine upon them both.
I have mentioned that my wife's side of the family is Jewish. I really enjoy Jewish religious services. I've only been to weddings, Bar Mitzvah, and funerals, and unfortunately mostly funerals. I love the Hebrew prayers. Of course I have no idea what they are saying, but sometimes a prayer is spoken in both Hebrew and English. I love wearing a yarmulke. It's a shame we Catholic men are not required to wear head covering before the Lord.
In honor of Uncle Marty, I'm going to post a video of Psalm 23, sung in Hebrew. This clip tries to capture the how it might have been sung in ancient Hebrew. The accompaniment is very simple, as ancient music was assumed to be. It provides a transliteration of the Hebrew and English translation, of which we are probably all familiar with.
I also found this fascinating exegesis of this great psalm. I have no idea who is this Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, but he provides penetrating insight that can only be obtained from understanding the subtle connotations of the Hebrew. We lose some of that in an English translation.
So much of this Rabbi reminds me of what is wonderful about older Jewish men: the gentleness, the humor and wit, and the love of intellect.