The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Kinah LeKhurban Gan Eden ~ Richard Kaplan

Cantor Richard Kaplan, z"l, composed this kinah (lament) for Tisha B'Av about the destruction of the earth. Gan Eden of course is the Garden of Eden, both a place and a time. It is the imagined birthplace of all life and species, and an echo of the time when the real Earth was untrammeled. Khurban (or churban) usually refers to the destruction of the First and Second Temples, but here to the Temple of the Earth, which the Jewish Temple was meant to represent according to midrash.

The song articulates the voice of Gaia, the Earth, embodied in Richard's plaintive voice. Richard died on the first day of Sukkkot this year, and thinking about him has made me want so much to hear his voice, calling us to truth.

The song comes from his album "Life of the Worlds: Journeys in Jewish Sacred Music"", which can be purchased through Amazon; individual songs can be purchased through iTunes, and it's here on Spotify.

This is the one of the few contemporary songs on Neohasid. We offer it with the added hope that it will inspire others to compose more kinot appropriate to this age when we so urgently need to stop destroying the biosphere of this planet. You can also download more prayers for the Earth here.

Listen to Kinah Lekhurban Gan Eden

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Words to Kinah Lekhurban Gan Eden ©2003 by Richard Kaplan

An Eco-Lament

Vay'konen Yirmiyahu…oy,
Ka’asher shama' otah sharah,
Hakinah Lekhurban Gan Eden.

Jeremiah wept…oh,
Hearing her song,
Lamenting her Temple, so wounded.

Alas, my forests are dying,
I hear my waters crying,
Have all the lessons, the lessons been lost?
Oh, oh that I, oh that they, were pure again.

My precious threads of life, that are no more,
In silence, live the children of the poor,
Alas, why will they not feel their disgrace?
Oh, oh that I, oh that they, were pure again.

Bakho tivkeh balailah,
Vedimatah al lech'yah,
Ein la menakhem mi kol ohaveha.

In the night, she weeps and weeps,
Longing for her lovers,
Who so seldom come, to comfort her.

Hashivenu, Nishmat HaNeshamot,
Eilekha, venashuvah,
Chadesh yameinu, ke’Eden.

Bring us back to You, oh Soul of Souls,
Spark us to turn, that we may be seen,
Mending this Temple, our Eden.


Well, may Gan Eden be very soon. Be'ezrat Hashem.

Posted by: Gan Eden at December 9, 2008 2:03 PM


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