heighten us, purify us

July 12, 2007

I just watched one of the most powerful visual images of occupation that I think I’ve ever seen. A Palestinian fruit grove in the village of Ertas, near Bethlehem, was destroyed a few months ago to make way for a new sewer system for Efrat (a Jewish settlement). The first half of the video shows some of the village’s inhabitants camping out on their land, discussing the IDF plans for the confiscation and razing of their land. There is an interaction between a Palestinian and a soldier that has an almost friendly tone to it. The second half of the video shows protesters being dragged off and apricot trees literally being uprooted while their owners look on from the side. It is so unbelievably heartbreaking. Part of the drama of the second half of the video is the melodramatic music playing in the background. For the unfamiliar, the song is from the Friday evening (sabbath) prayers. The translation of the lyrics:

Please, with the might of your right, untie the bundle:
Accept your people’s prayer song, heighten us, purify us, Mighty one:
Please hero, your uniqueness worshipers, guard them closely:
Bless them purify them, your rightfulness mercies, always reward:
Immune, proud, with your good will, manage your people:
Single, proud, address your people, who remember your holiness:
Accept our plea, and hear our cry, he who knows histories:
Blessed be his kingdom’s honor forever: (source)

Via Jewschool.



  1. oh sf. this one really got me. thank you so much for posting it. i forwarded it to my dad bc i thought perhaps it would be easier to listen to something that is clearly made by and for jews. i’m not sure if we got anywhere. it is heartbreaking, but at the same time, i am so jaded that i was able to also instantly consider the potential impact for centrist-to-right wing jews, to be able to pay attention to news of this nature, when spoken in hebrew and with kabblat shabbat in the background. maybe i am too optimistic.

  2. i aske u tell me how we can procee in building bridge foe peace under circucances of hatrage and daily agrresssiom made by occupation agaiest civilian people

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