Tuesday, April 7, 2009

EXEGESIS: BREAD לחם (Lehem or Lechem) OF LIFE IN JEWISH THOUGHT *(Continued)

Continuing from where I left off on my previous post: TheoPoetic Musings: EXEGESIS: BREAD לחם (Lehem or Lechem) OF LIFE IN JEWISH THOUGHT:

---While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body” (Matt. 26:26).--Jesus’ body is the Bread.

---”I Am The Bread Of Life”--- ‘I Am’ Statement, Jesus speaks with Absolute divine authority. I Am echoes God’s True name. The Tetragrammaton-YHVH or YHWH, also referred to as the Ineffable Name. Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey:, which is usually pronounced as Yahweh or Jehovah though the exact pronunciation has been lost. See http://www.eliyah.com/tetragrm.html and http://pages.cthome.net/hirsch/tetra.htm for more info. The Jews never pronounced the Tetragrammaton but substituted the word Adonai instead (usually rendered in the Bible as 'Lord'), because of fear of desecration of the name. Ha-Shem, which means the Name or Elohim, which means a god or many gods are also substituted for it. This is the special memorial-name that God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. "And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM; and He said, thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you... this is My eternal name, and this is how I am to be recalled for all generations" (Exodus 3:14-15). Actually, the phrase in Hebrew is "eh-yeh asher eh-yeh." The word "eh-yeh" being the first person future form of "hovah" (to be). A better English translation would really be, "I will be who (or what or that) I will be." Even though the name YHVH appears earlier in Genesis 2, God didn't reveal Himself as YHVH until Exodus 3 in conjunction with the creation of Israel.

---Baal Shem Tov= Master of the Sacred Name

---Shema--- “Hear, O, Israel, the Lord, your God, is One (echad) Lord.” (One Unity) This is the fundamental belief in Judaism and the opening statement of many Jewish rituals. The Hebrew word echad for one is also used in the Genesis passage about Adam and Eve becoming one flesh, which is an act of union.

--- Jesus would have said in a form of: “Ey-yeh lehem hachay” in Hebrew, “Iythay (to be) lehem chay” in Aramaic and “Einai (to be) artos zoe” in Greek. “I Am the Bread of Life.” Notice the close connections between bread and (to) life.
l'chaim -"To Life!" /lechem -(Heb.) bread

---The Wine of the Last Supper is like the kiddush and the kiddush HaShem lit.=sanctification of the Name: selfless act, esp. martyrdom. Wine is used as a means of sanctification. Wine has always been symbolic of blood sacrifice and atonement.=Cup of Redemption of the Passover.

---Wine is symbolic of blood and blood is the very essence of life. Wine has also been used as a symbol of love and divine love, especially by mystics. It is also symbolic of life, communion, covenants, death and even sex (see Song of Solomon for that) or intimate relations. Wine as a symbol is seen in a lot of Persian mystic or Sufi poetry.
Don’t let go of the cup’s lips
Till you receive your worldly tips.
Bittersweet is the world’s cup
From lover’s lips and the cup sips.
---A Ruba'i or Quatrain of Hafez or Hafiz, a Sufi poet. Or this Ghazal of Hafez:
O beautiful wine-bearer, bring forth the cup and put it to my lips
Path of love seemed easy at first, what came was many hardships.
With its perfume, the morning breeze unlocks those beautiful locks
The curl of those dark ringlets, many hearts to shreds strips.
In the house of my Beloved, how can I enjoy the feast
Since the church bells call the call that for pilgrimage equips.
With wine color your robe, one of the old Magi’s best tips
Trust in this traveler’s tips, who knows of many paths and trips.
The dark midnight, fearful waves, and the tempestuous whirlpool
How can he know of our state, while ports house his unladen ships.
I followed my own path of love, and now I am in bad repute
How can a secret remain veiled, if from every tongue it drips?
If His presence you seek, Hafiz, then why yourself eclipse?
Stick to the One you know, let go of imaginary trips.
---Another extreme example of this is from Rumi, the founder of the mystical Sufi Order of Islam: “Let me taste the wine of eternal communion/Cry out in drunkenness, intoxicated, broken, alone…” from the Divan-e Shams 114
(http://www.rumionfire.com/shams/rumi114.htm). --- http://www.rumionfire.com/.

---Or from Edward Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat:
“Here with a little Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!”

See also: http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Khayyam.html
And: http://www.okonlife.com/---(In this quatrain of Khayyam’s, we see a connection with the Eucharist of the Last Supper or Holy Communion).

----More modern references to the mystical symbolism of bread and wine come from popular culture. Here are some examples from different song lyrics:

“Trouble/Oh trouble can't you see/You're eating my heart away/And there's nothing much left of me/I've drunk your wine/You have made your world mine/So won't you be fair.” ---Trouble--Cat Stevens.

“Bring tea for the Tillerman/Steak for the sun/Wine for the women who made the rain come/Seagulls sing your hearts away/'Cause while the sinners sin, the children play/Oh Lord how they play and play/For that happy day, for that happy day”---Tea For The Tillerman--Cat Stevens. See http://catstevens.com/index.html for others.

“Don't worry smile and dance/You just can work life out/Don't let down moods entrance you/Take the wine and shout/My life's a mess I wait for you to pass/I stand here at the bar, I hold an empty glass”---Empty Glass--Pete Townshend. (http://www.wdkeller.com/index17.htm)

“Here is your wine,/And your drunken fall;/And here is your love./Your love for it all.”---Here It Is--Leonard Cohen.

----Bill Mallonee And The Vigilantes Of Love: http://www.parting-shot.com/

---Chris de Burgh: http://chris-deburgh.de/

---- Genesis: http://genesis.musichall.cz/php/eng/

----U2: "Until the End of the World"
"We ate the food, we drank the wine...I took the money, I spiked your drink...In the garden I was playing the tart, I kissed your lips and broke your heart" -- see Judas and Jesus in Matthew 14-15, 20-29, 47-49 ---http://www.atu2.com/lyrics/biblerefs.html

---Bob Dylan:












"Business men, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth/None of them along the line know what any of it is worth."---All Along The Watchtower---"The Lord will enter into judgement with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses." (Isaiah 3:14). All belongs to the Lord, but His creation has spoiled the earth, His bounty, His vineyard, and the poor.

Jokerman--At the beginning of the song, we see the Jokerman "Standing on the waters casting [his] bread" (1). We know that Jesus Christ said He was "the bread of life" (Henry 1; John 6.48). He also commented that "[m]an shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4.4). The Jokerman casting his bread, therefore, may be symbolic of Christ’s sharing his Word, since he "is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die" (John 61.50). Most explicitly, this verse of the song refers to Ecclesiastes 11:1: "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days" (Henry 2). The implied hope, then, is that Christ’s teaching--which He has "cast" upon the people--will breed loyal disciples. But the hope is an insecure one. See http://www.radiohazak.com/Jokerman.html for a Jewish Interpretation of this song. Another interpretation of the first verse: Now let’s look at the actual verses in Jokerman and see how they describe Jesus.
Standing on the waters casting your bread
In demonstrating dominion over His creation Jesus walked upon the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret). When Jesus was being tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread to quench His hunger, He replied that man does not live by bread alone but by the Word of God. In the gospel of John, we learn that Jesus was the Incarnation of the Word of God and that He is the Bread of Life to all that come to Him. Or: http://web.utk.edu/~wparr/henryjokerman.html

Someone Got A Hold Of My Heart- They say "Eat, drink and be merry, take the bull by the horns."
From Luke 12:19. "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry." This is what a rich man who plans on living a life on hedonism says to himself in one of Jesus' parables. The chronicle goes on (12:20) to record God's reply to the man: "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?" The moral of the story is, Jesus explains, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment." (12:22-23)
Lyrics Search for Bread: YEA! HEAVY AND A BOTTLE OF BREAD
Yea! Heavy and a bottle of bread

5. Now his bread it was corn dodger

She's a junkyard angel and she always gives me bread

She's rollin' up a lotta bread

And you been eating the bread of sorrow

You can't live by bread alone, you won't be satisfied

Who pick up on his bread crumb sins

He drank Coca-Cola, he was eating Wonder Bread,

Standing on the waters casting your bread

Feed you coconut bread, spice buns in your bed

You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread, Total number of matches: 11

---See also---Contemporary Christian Artists, Hymns And Such
Larry Norman, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc.

No comments: