While this secessionist republic of one normally adheres to a strict separation of Church and State, the Ministry of Culture has somewhat looser rules, and in honor of the first day of Passover (which begins at sundown this evening), this weekend’s poem is the 126th Psalm, the song of the returned exiles, a song of ascents. Variations on the Psalm are a common part of the Haggadah used for Passover seders. (Sidebar: you might also be interested to read Leona Green’s The Haggadah Revisited, one woman’s story of her search for a feminist Haggadah.)
I’ve used the New Jerusalem Bible translation here because that is my favorite of the ones that I had around the house. Note that if you were singing aloud this at Passover, you would (among other things) say
When YHWH brought back Zion’s captives,
we lived in a dream
then our mouths filled with laughter,
and our lips with song.
Then the nations kept saying,What great deeds
YHWH has done for them!
Yes, YHWH did great deeds for us,
and we were overjoyed.
Bring back, YHWH, our people from captivity
like torrents in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
sing as they reap.
He went off, went off weeping,
carrying the seed.
He comes back, comes back singing
bringing in his sheaves.