Wednesday, May 28, 2008

יפי קול- רבי יהודה הלוי

Ohh yes, em- something I wanted to mention: Sometimes we think of the חכמי ישראל as living in vacuum, and not having the same life experiences as we- or for that matter, as contemporary rock singers. But that is obviously not so my beloved porcupines! We can see from the myriad of beautiful and refreshing Hebrew 'פיוטים' written by the giants of spirit who resided in Spain a millennium ago that our ancestors were quite 'alive'! One פיוט in particular I was checking out last week caught my eye, in that it was something I sensed (perhaps not in this measure, though) in my own life traversings:

(This was the beginning of the ancient Arabic 'Q'ssida' which usually was a poem talking about nature or romance or something, before getting into the 'meat and potatoes' of the פיוט.)


יְפֵי קוֹל קַדְּמוּ כִנּוֹר לְיָפוֹת---וְשָׂרִים אַחֲרֵי נֹגְנִים חֲלִיפוֹת

עֲלָמוֹת לַעֲלָמוֹת נַעֲלָמוֹת---וְנִשְׁקָפוֹת בְּעַד אֶשְׁנָב וְצוֹפוֹת

בְּתוּלוֹת לָמְדוּ מִבַּת בְּתוּאֵל---קְדֻשַּׁת טָהֳרַת לִבּוֹת וְגוּפוֹת

אֲבָל כִּי מָשְׁכוּ קֶשֶׁת לְתֻמָּם---וְהָרְגוּ אִישׁ, וְהֵם זַכּוֹת וְחָפוֹת

אֲשֶׁר לֹא שָׁאֲלוּ לִקְרָב חֲרָבוֹת---וְדַיָּם בַּזְּרוֹעוֹת הַחֲשׂוּפוֹת

וְאֵיךְ נָשְׂאוּ צְמִידִים אוֹ צְעָדוֹת---עֲצֵלוֹת מִנְּשׂוֹא עַפְעַף יְעֵפוֹת

וְלוּ נָשְׁאוּ אֱלֵי חַמָּה פְנֵיהֶם---אֲזַי עָזְבוּ פְּנֵי חַמָּה שְׁזוּפוֹת

וְתֹאמַרְנָה יְהִי חֹשֶׁךְ יְהִי אוֹר---בְּאוֹר פָּנִים וּבִשְׁחוֹר מַחֲלָפוֹת

וְכָתְנוֹת כְּאוֹר חֶבְרָה לְבוּשׁוֹת---בְּלֵיל שֵׂעָר כְּלֵיל פֵּרוּד צְנוּפוֹת

מְאוֹרוֹת נָתְנוּ לִבִּי רְקִיעִים---תְּסוֹבַבְנָה עֲלֵי כַּמָּה תְקוּפוֹת

וְיֵשׁ לִשְׁגּוֹת בְּרַכּוֹת וַעֲנֻגּוֹת---וּפוֹרִיּוֹת עֲבֻתּוֹת וַעֲנֵפוֹת

וּפִיפִיּוֹת יְפֵה פִיּוֹת אֲדֻמּוֹת---עֲלֵי טוּרֵי בְדֹלָחִים רְצוּפוֹת

לְאַט בִּמְשַׂקְּרוֹת וּמְשַׁקְּרוֹת לִי---לְאַט בָּהֵן וְלוּ הָיוּ חֲנֵפוֹת

מְסֻבָּלוֹת בְּתַפּוּחַ וְרִמּוֹן---וְשׁוֹשַׁנִּים וְעָלֵיהֶן תְּרוּפוֹת

וּמַה אֹמַר בְּהוֹד קוֹמָה כְּתָמָר---וְהָרוּחַ יְנִיפֶהָ תְנוּפוֹת

רְאֵה כִּי נִטְרְפוּ לִבּוֹת לְקָחוּם---שְׁאַל הַיְשַׁלְּמוּ אֶת הַטְּרֵפוֹת

וְאִם לָקְחוּ נְקַם צִיצִת לְחֵיהֶם---אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ בְעֵינֵינוּ קְטוּפוֹת


The whole פיוט is obviously talking about how heavy the stares and the general presence of girls around him was at times during his youth. Some lines in particular I think are pretty good-

"קְדֻשַּׁת טָהֳרַת לִבּוֹת וְגוּפוֹת-אֲבָל כִּי מָשְׁכוּ קֶשֶׁת לְתֻמָּם-וְהָרְגוּ אִישׁ, וְהֵם זַכּוֹת וְחָפוֹת"

"וְלוּ נָשְׁאוּ אֱלֵי חַמָּה פְנֵיהֶם-אֲזַי עָזְבוּ פְּנֵי חַמָּה שְׁזוּפוֹת"

I think every guy (especially not-so-cool guys like myself) at some point in life, experiences the feeling of the biting, heart-sinking gaze of a pretty girl (who you might be interested in- but perhaps you feel is a bit too 'prestigious' for you). At times I almost sensed myself being pitied in their gander. Well...that's what I've experienced anyway...(?)

By the way, I got this פיוט from a site I didn't previously know about, that seems to have a lot of the non-religiously oriented Spanish פיוטים: http://benyehuda.org/

[This פיוט is also sort of similar to a popular James Blunt song from a few years ago (not to suggest that it had any meaning!):

"My life is brilliant.
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I'm sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won't lose no sleep on that,
'Cause I've got a plan.

You're beautiful. You're beautiful.
You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
F[ly]ing high,
And I don't think that I'll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

21 comments:

Rachel said...

"For me their gander is at times strong and heavy. It's saying "I'm pretty- you're ugly (not that I am!), what are you looking at?!" Well...that's what I've experienced anyway...(?)"
You know, this reminds me of something that happened to my friend a while ago: Long story short, she found out a couple of guys thought poorly of her because they had liked her and they thought she had rejected them. But in truth she had no idea any of them had ever even liked her.
So, what I mean to say by this is are you sure they seriously looked at you in a condescending way? Some might (and even then, sometimes only for pathetic reasons) but I don't think all do. And I don't mean to say this to try to boost your self-esteem so high and turn you into a "player."

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Ha. (Thanks for commenting). I can tell you one thing- if a guy likes a girl, than to him her every nuance is meaningful to him.

Personally I know for a fact that there's a huge divide between the way I logically perceive reality, and the ways it's felt emotionally. I know that all those girls' staring means nothing. You can see their head is not filled with much. One can sort of see how much thought is in a persons mind, don't you think?

...I'm actually still adding to the post!

...There is actually something I'm thinking about as a result of your story which is making me smirk- something from school when I was a kid, I used to wait by a bus stop sometimes after school, and a girl from the class used to pass me by. And I was sort of quiet and she was sort of quiet, and it was almost painful to think about how much we probably wanted to exchange a few words- by I would never try it unless she started it!

...I'll never be a "player"! : )

Rachel said...

Your story from when you were a kid is so adorable. (Oddly, I think it can still be like that sometimes at an older age.) Would you still happen to know this girl?

"One can sort of see how much thought is in a persons mind, don't you think?" Yep. You can literally see it on my face (though this wouldn't apply in the context of what you're saying, because I tend not to stare down guys :)).... I do this weird thing with knitting my eyebrows when I'm in deep thought, and sometimes I catch people who don't know me really well disrupting me to ask what's wrong...."I'm thinking, genius. Leave me alone." Hehe.

P.S. That James Blunt song rocks.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"Would you still happen to know this girl?"- Ha. Well, I know 'of' her. I mean, she was never really my type actually, and in essence was quite the little snob at times. ..she wasn't the one I had a crush on(!)...though come to think of it, she was once acting very nice to me, and I was seriously wondering what was going on!

"I tend not to stare down guys :)"- But it's such a sexy thing to do : )

"...and sometimes I catch people who don't know me really well disrupting me to ask what's wrong...."I'm thinking, genius. Leave me alone." "- HA. ...I suppose I also (at times) close my eyes and put my fingers on my head to help me make a quick decision (I don't know how it helps...).

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

And what is up with that James Blunt song? What's he trying to say? That him and that girl got something going on by the way they're looking at each other, WHILE her boyfriend/husband is there? That's what I call חומד אשת איש!

Rachel said...

"But it's such a sexy thing to do : )" Ahaha.

"I suppose I also (at times) close my eyes and put my fingers on my head to help me make a quick decision (I don't know how it helps...)." But that's a classic "thinking face." Completely normal.

Your interpretation of Blunt's song seems just about right, though I never thought the girl was with another guy. Even if you hate the lyrics, you can seriously tell me you dislike the melody?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"Even if you hate the lyrics, you can seriously tell me you dislike the melody?"- I mean, even with the absurdity of what the lyrics are suggesting, it's still a 'powerful' song (in a way).

the sabra said...

Abanibi obohebev.

I've been meanin to post it for months.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Sabra: "Abanibi obohebev"- Whaa? Am I missing something?

sab kidab said...

http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=abanibi

the sabra said...

aaaaaaaaand one of the best songs ever. (true story)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

You've got a lot of insiders jokes haven't you my darling?

שיר נחמד אגב. It seems it won the 1978 Eurovision. I just saw the video- and let me tell you- when I think that the kind of afro that guy had was 'in' then, I cringe to think how I'll look to myself 20 years from now!

"aaaaaaaaand one of the best songs ever. (true story)"- hehe. I had a teacher who would constantly say "true story"!

Rachel said...

why, Shlomo, afros are "sexy."

Rachel said...

And the song just topped my charts.

sabra'le said...

yay rachel im so happy to hear :) it's sucha peaceful and awesome song.

shrik-me? insider jokes? l'dugma..?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

uch! Israeli 70s music...Naomi Shemer maybe, but this stuff is a little too...

I meant 'insider ideas' really- for example I didn't know what you were talking about. ..but also on your blog there's a lot of 'insider' jargon (that only you and your close acquaintances might understand).

sabra said...

gotcha
'cept that usually, it's not understood by more than one or two people. sometimes, only me.

but hey, i love when people ask for more info. so go ahead, if you really wanna know :)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

rachel: "why, Shlomo, afros are "sexy." "- Ha. I mean, I've never really been the biggest fan of afros (obviously), but I wouldn't call someone like Corinne Baily Rae 'unattractive'...

"gotta love that afro hairdo"...

Rachel said...

Wanna know a secret? I always thought it would be major kick-ass to be African so I can have one of those girl 'fros and look completely awesome possom. (And Corinne Bailey Rae is beautiful! Girl knows how to pull off the 'fro better than a Bais Yaakov girl can match her purse with her head-band!)

Man 'fros on the other hand...a bit "iffy." I suppose it would be nice to brush your hands through it. Or pet it. Whatever.

....So, did you ever figure out what chinchosa and boba are? ;)(Disregard the grammar.)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"I always thought it would be major kick-ass to be African"- You wanna be black?

"So, did you ever figure out what chinchosa and boba are?"- No. ..no, what are they??

Rachel said...

"You wanna be black?"...Sure, why not? ;)

Boba and chinchosa: I once knew what they meant... about a few years ago. :) Now all I can remember is that (maybe) one of them meant something along the lines of "snob."