Menachem Mendel

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Friday Afternoon Song-40

This summer at camp I taught a class called Rock ‘n Roll Midrash. I wanted to show the campers how many musicians have used Biblical verses and themes in their songs. I focused on music in English, and over the next few weeks I’ll post the songs that I taught in class.

U2’s 40 is the beginning of Psalm 40 verbatum. Also see this post on U2 from Adderabbi.

Let this psalm also be in memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11. As Bono sings, “How long?”

‏ קַוֹּה קִוִּיתִי יְהוָה וַיֵּט אֵלַי וַיִּשְׁמַע שַׁוְעָתִי׃

‏ וַיַּעֲלֵנִי מִבּוֹר שָׁאוֹן מִטִּיט הַיָּוֵן וַיָּקֶם עַל־סֶלַע רַגְלַי כּוֹנֵן אֲשֻׁרָי
וַיִּתֵּן בְּפִי שִׁיר חָדָשׁ תְּהִלָּה לֵאלֹהֵינוּ יִרְאוּ רַבִּים וְיִירָאוּ וְיִבְטְחוּ בַּיהוָה׃

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.

He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

2 Responses to “Friday Afternoon Song-40”

  1. 1

    I once noticed, on a car festooned with (obscure? but I know / little of music) band bumper stickers, one reading “Drive Like Jehu” (presumably for this band). I excitedly turned to my friends and asked them if they got the reference …

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel:

    I never heard of them. I’m going to try and post the songs according to Parshat ha-Shavuah and then finish up with those that refer to Nach.




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