A funeral oration for the scholars Rabba bar Huna (the “Offspring”) and Hamnuna Saba (the “Book”), both of whom died in Babylon (early fourth century) and were brought to Palestine for burial.
Geza y’shishim alah mi-Bavel.
V’imo seifer milchamot Adonai.
Ka-at v’kipod hochp’lu lirot
b’sod vashever habah mi-Shin’ar.
Katsaf al olamo v’chamas n’fashot,
v’samach bahem k’chalah chadasha.
Rochev aravot sas v’smei-ach
b’voh eilav nefesh tsadik.
Offspring of Proud Stock is humbled now by death.
At his side lies the Book of the Wars of the Lord.
Both vulture and raven rush to see and mourn
this ravage and ruin from Babylon.
God raged about his world and he plundered willing souls,
then rejoiced in them as a groom in his new-found bride.
He rides the high heavens proud and triumphant
when righteous souls come before His throne.
In the transliteration of the Hebrew text, most of the sounds are pronounced as in English while taking note of the following:
– ch is pronounced as in Scottish loch, e.g. n’fachtah
– The apostrophe(‘) is used to indicate a reduced vowel similar to the e in courtesy, e.g. n’shamah
– Both a and ah are pronounced as in Italian, mano, e.g., atah
– ai as in sky, e.g. Elohai
– ei as in they, e.g. seifer
– e and eh as in tent, e.g., mimeni
– i as in feet, e.g., b’kirbi
– o as in for, e.g., t’horah
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Thanksgiving Upon Awakening (mvt #1) – duration 2:35
Funeral Oration (mvt #2) – duration 1:45
Song of Protest (mvt #3) – duration 1:50
On the Death of the Child (mvt #4) – duration 3:25
Advent of the Messiah – (mvt #5) – duration 2:55
Cypress makes rehearsal tracks for choirs – here is a demo
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