TO BE NAUGHT or NOT TO BE Leonard Cohen: “You Want It Darker” – Part II

Magnified, sanctified
Be thy holy name

Vilified, crucified
In the human frame

A million candles burning
For the help that never came

You want it darker

Psalms Chapter 92 תְּהִלִּים

א  מִזְמוֹר שִׁיר, לְיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת. 1 A Psalm, a Song. For the sabbath day.
ב  טוֹב, לְהֹדוֹת לַיהוָה;    וּלְזַמֵּר לְשִׁמְךָ עֶלְיוֹן. 2 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High;
ג  לְהַגִּיד בַּבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ;    וֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ, בַּלֵּילוֹת. 3 To declare Thy loving kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness in the night seasons,
ד  עֲלֵי-עָשׂוֹר, וַעֲלֵי-נָבֶל;    עֲלֵי הִגָּיוֹן בְּכִנּוֹר. 4 With an instrument of ten strings, and with the psaltery; with a solemn sound upon the harp.
ה  כִּי שִׂמַּחְתַּנִי יְהוָה בְּפָעֳלֶךָ;    בְּמַעֲשֵׂי יָדֶיךָ אֲרַנֵּן. 5 For Thou, LORD, hast made me glad through Thy work; I will exult in the works of Thy hands.
ו  מַה-גָּדְלוּ מַעֲשֶׂיךָ יְהוָה;    מְאֹד, עָמְקוּ מַחְשְׁבֹתֶיךָ. 6 How great are Thy works, O LORD! Thy thoughts are very deep.
ז  אִישׁ-בַּעַר, לֹא יֵדָע;    וּכְסִיל, לֹא-יָבִין אֶת-זֹאת. 7 A brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a fool understand this.
ח  בִּפְרֹחַ רְשָׁעִים, כְּמוֹ עֵשֶׂב, וַיָּצִיצוּ, כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן:    לְהִשָּׁמְדָם עֲדֵי-עַד. 8 When the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they may be destroyed for ever.
ט  וְאַתָּה מָרוֹם–    לְעֹלָם יְהוָה. 9 But Thou, O LORD, art on high for evermore.
י  כִּי הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ, יְהוָה–    כִּי-הִנֵּה אֹיְבֶיךָ יֹאבֵדוּ:
יִתְפָּרְדוּ,    כָּל-פֹּעֲלֵי אָוֶן.
10 For, lo, Thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, Thine enemies shall perish: 
all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
יא  וַתָּרֶם כִּרְאֵים קַרְנִי;    בַּלֹּתִי, בְּשֶׁמֶן רַעֲנָן. 11 But my horn hast Thou exalted like the horn of the wild-ox; I am anointed with rich oil.
יב  וַתַּבֵּט עֵינִי,    בְּשׁוּרָי:
בַּקָּמִים עָלַי מְרֵעִים–    תִּשְׁמַעְנָה אָזְנָי.
12 Mine eye also hath gazed on them that lie in wait for me, 
mine ears have heard my desire of the evil-doers that rise up against me.
יג  צַדִּיק, כַּתָּמָר יִפְרָח;    כְּאֶרֶז בַּלְּבָנוֹן יִשְׂגֶּה. 13 The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
יד  שְׁתוּלִים, בְּבֵית יְהוָה;    בְּחַצְרוֹת אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַפְרִיחוּ. 14 Planted in the house of the LORD, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.
טו  עוֹד, יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵׂיבָה;    דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִּים יִהְיוּ. 15 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and richness;
טז  לְהַגִּיד, כִּי-יָשָׁר יְהוָה;    צוּרִי, וְלֹא-עלתה (עַוְלָתָה) בּוֹ. 16 To declare that the LORD is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no unrighteousness. 

The brutish and the foolish and the wicked and the evil-doers spring up, creep out of the grass and from behind rocks, but they are not destroyed forever. They reappear in every age. The workers of iniquity flourish. God creates human suffering. Humans are the mere implementers.

If you are the dealer, let me out of the game
If you are the healer, I’m broken and lame
If thine is the glory, mine must be the shame
You want it darker

We are forced to live in that darkness, accepting our mortality, but unable to understand suffering.

Psalms Chapter 39 תְּהִלִּים

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ לידיתון (לִידוּתוּן),    מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד. 1 For the Leader, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
ב  אָמַרְתִּי–    אֶשְׁמְרָה דְרָכַי, מֵחֲטוֹא בִלְשׁוֹנִי:
אֶשְׁמְרָה לְפִי מַחְסוֹם–    בְּעֹד רָשָׁע לְנֶגְדִּי.
2 I said: ‘I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue; 
I will keep a curb upon my mouth, while the wicked is before me.’
ג  נֶאֱלַמְתִּי דוּמִיָּה, הֶחֱשֵׁיתִי מִטּוֹב;    וּכְאֵבִי נֶעְכָּר. 3 I was dumb with silence; I held my peace, had no comfort; and my pain was held in check.
ד  חַם-לִבִּי, בְּקִרְבִּי–בַּהֲגִיגִי תִבְעַר-אֵשׁ;    דִּבַּרְתִּי, בִּלְשׁוֹנִי. 4 My heart waxed hot within me; while I was musing, the fire kindled; then spoke I with my tongue:
ה  הוֹדִיעֵנִי יְהוָה, קִצִּי–וּמִדַּת יָמַי מַה-הִיא;    אֵדְעָה, מֶה-חָדֵל אָנִי. 5 ‘LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; let me know how short-lived I am.
ו  הִנֵּה טְפָחוֹת, נָתַתָּה יָמַי–    וְחֶלְדִּי כְאַיִן נֶגְדֶּךָ;
אַךְ כָּל-הֶבֶל כָּל-אָדָם,    נִצָּב סֶלָה.
6 Behold, Thou hast made my days as hand-breadths; and mine age is as nothing before Thee; 
surely every man at his best estate is altogether vanity. Selah
ז  אַךְ-בְּצֶלֶם, יִתְהַלֶּךְ-אִישׁ–    אַךְ-הֶבֶל יֶהֱמָיוּן;
יִצְבֹּר,    וְלֹא-יֵדַע מִי-אֹסְפָם.
7 Surely man walketh as a mere semblance; surely for vanity they are in turmoil; 
he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
ח  וְעַתָּה מַה-קִּוִּיתִי אֲדֹנָי–    תּוֹחַלְתִּי, לְךָ הִיא. 8 And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope, it is in Thee.
ט  מִכָּל-פְּשָׁעַי הַצִּילֵנִי;    חֶרְפַּת נָבָל, אַל-תְּשִׂימֵנִי. 9 Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the base.
י  נֶאֱלַמְתִּי, לֹא אֶפְתַּח-פִּי:    כִּי אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ. 10 I am dumb, I open not my mouth; because Thou hast done it.
יא  הָסֵר מֵעָלַי נִגְעֶךָ;    מִתִּגְרַת יָדְךָ, אֲנִי כָלִיתִי. 11 Remove Thy stroke from off me; I am consumed by the blow of Thy hand.
יב  בְּתוֹכָחוֹת עַל-עָוֺן, יִסַּרְתָּ אִישׁ–    וַתֶּמֶס כָּעָשׁ חֲמוּדוֹ;
אַךְ הֶבֶל כָּל-אָדָם    סֶלָה.
12 With rebukes dost Thou chasten man for iniquity, and like a moth Thou makest his beauty to consume away; 
surely every man is vanity. Selah
יג  שִׁמְעָה תְפִלָּתִי יְהוָה,    וְשַׁוְעָתִי הַאֲזִינָה–
אֶל-דִּמְעָתִי,    אַל-תֶּחֱרַשׁ:
כִּי גֵר אָנֹכִי עִמָּךְ;    תּוֹשָׁב, כְּכָל-אֲבוֹתָי.
13 Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; 
keep not silence at my tears; 
for I am a stranger with Thee, a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
יד  הָשַׁע מִמֶּנִּי וְאַבְלִיגָה–    בְּטֶרֶם אֵלֵךְ וְאֵינֶנִּי. 14 Look away from me, that I may take comfort, before I go hence, and be no more.’ 

Stan really asks now for only one thing: “Remove Thy stroke from off me; I am consumed by the blow of Thy hand.” Stan, to his very end, remains a sojourner, as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were. Stan remains a Jew. He remains one who says both “Hineni” Here I am, and “Ein ani,” “Eineni,” “I am not,” “I’m no more.” “I’m in the dark.”

Matthew 6:19-24 advised that we not store up treasures on earth “where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” But it is humans who destroy other humans and regard them as vermin. (Verse 22)

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness.” If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Stan is legally blind now. His eyes are unhealthy. Those eyes are no longer the light of the body that brighten the page of a book, but unhealthy as his whole body fills with darkness.

Matthew advised, “You cannot serve both God and money.” But Stan served neither. Nevertheless, in the end, the lord of death forced him to submit. But he never did worry about his life, never worried about what he could and would eat or drink. Life was more than food for the body; it was food for his love for the printed page. And movies.

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:23)

To be continued – Black Earth Rising


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