9/13/2005

An Ashkenazi Ambiguity

Thrice daily, in Alyenu, those of us who speak with the Ashkenazic pronunciation of Hebrew say, ‘le-sakein olam be-malchus Shakai’.

[what follows is a cute ‘Chassidishe’-style vort, which is clearly wrong as a plausible explanation of the text, but nonetheless expresses some truth]

This vocalization can be understood in 2 ways, depending on the two ways to spell ‘le-sakein’ Hebrew. It can mean either

to repair the world into the Kingdom of the Lord

to endanger the world with the Kingdom of the Lord

Motivation to establish God’s dominion on Earth is quite the double-edged sword…
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