The Creak of the Doors Leading in to the Temple (Yoma 39b)

The creak of the doors leading in to the Temple
–The intimate chamber, the Holy of Holies–
Resounds for a distance–for eight times the distance–
That one is permitted to walk on Shabbat.

The scent of the frankincense burned on the altar
–The cinnamon, saffron; the cassia, myrrh–
Is smelled for a distance–a ten parsa distance–
Jerusalem-Jericho, traveled by foot.

The goatherds of Jericho’s gated-in grazing ones
–Speckled and spotted, give Glory to God!–
Sneeze tickled in nostril–a goat-a-choo nostril–
When breathing in frankincense wafted on high.

The brides of Jerusalem’s sages and scholars
–The henna-haired gazed-ats, gazelle-like in womb–
Purveyed not a perfume–forewent every fragrance–
The cinnamon, saffron; the cassia, myrrh.

My father raised goats in the high hills of Michmar
–Raised he-goats and she-goats and get-at-your-goats–
Who sneezed in a tempest–a lift-your-lamp tempest–
Who shuddered in pleasure from frankincense, myrrh.

An old man once told me: I went once to Shiloh
–The city of ruins, the mishkan dismantled–
I rested my face (My) between her two walls (God!)
The cinnamon, saffron! The cassia, myrrh!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.