These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

[Alumni Guest Post] Sefer Shmuel: The Poem

Posted on June 6, 2013 by The Director of Digital Media

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By RRC student Kate Cook (hourly '12-'13), for the siyum of 
Michael Hattin's Sefer Shmuel class.

943465_10201242814542978_745936267_nIn our reading of Shmuel we got the p’shat of
Characters, plot or a literary theme.
Intertextuality we’ve had quite a lot of
But not the centrality of the kelim.
For instance the spear: Plishtim cornered the market
With smithies galore, and charging a ton
Sharp swords and spears, everyone had them
But no man of Israel save Saul and his son
Young David without one was not even nervous
With honor and victory for Israel in play
He bravely stepped forward to offer his service
With sling, stone and God’s help Goliath to slay.
Expertise with the lyre, David had the gift
Saul’s moods: ups and downs, a laugh or a wail
His behavior unpredictable. Once he was miffed
And tried with his spear, Daveed to impale
David hid in a cave awaiting the day
When a signal from young lads would say coast is clear
All right they were arrows–but of the same genre
And far more suited for the job than a spear.
And let’s not forget the stealthy advance
For retrieval of spear and jug from Saul’s head
The army and Abner asleep in a trance
Their king unprotected, he could have been dead.
Now garments: Saul’s cloak and it’s snipping by David
As Saul stood alone, pursuing relief
Of his bladder, not knowing who in the cave hid
Further demonstration of who should be chief.
And as mentioned, when David was playing the lyre
To soothe the bad spirit that dwelt in his master
David was nigh but his cloak it was nigher
Saving his life from certain disaster.
As David approached, Aron Kodesh transporting
On trip number two after Uzzah’s demise
His garment askew as he was kavorting
Prompting Michal her man to despise.
And by far the greatest attention to clothing
Comes from its rending upon news of death
Of Saul and son Jonathan, Absalom his rival
A model for mourning, when one is bereft.
There are Kelim for music in multiple places
Swept up in ecstasy, prophets and Saul
Smoothing by lyre the king’s bipolar phases
And return of the ark celebrated by all.

(Disclaimer: Alternate uses of English or transliterated Hebrew for purposes of meter)