The Plight of the Prophet - Perek 20
Yirmiyahu, after his been beaten by Pashchur, the king's officer, turns to H' in desperation he utters the following plea.
כ,ח כִּי-מִדֵּי אֲדַבֵּר אֶזְעָק, חָמָס וָשֹׁד אֶקְרָא: כִּי-הָיָה דְבַר-ה' לִי לְחֶרְפָּה וּלְקֶלֶס, כָּל-הַיּוֹם
כ,ט וְאָמַרְתִּי לֹא-אֶזְכְּרֶנּוּ, וְלֹא-אֲדַבֵּר עוֹד בִּשְׁמוֹ, וְהָיָה בְלִבִּי כְּאֵשׁ בֹּעֶרֶת, עָצֻר בְּעַצְמֹתָי; וְנִלְאֵיתִי כַּלְכֵל, וְלֹא אוּכָל
For every time I speak, I must cry out, Must shout, “Lawlessness and rapine!” For the word of the LORD causes me Constant disgrace and contempt.
I thought, “I will not mention Him, No more will I speak in His name”— But [His word] was like a raging fire in my heart, Shut up in my bones; I could not hold it in, I was helpless.
The tragedy is that when he says the word of H' he is mocked and derided. When he tries to hold it in, he cannot for it is fire inside him which needs to erupt. Yirmiyahu is so trapped that he finally curses the very day he was born. (Yirmiyahu 20:14).
In this vein, Uri Zvi Greenberg poetically describes this space that Yirmiyahu finds himself in.
With My God, the Smith
by Uri Zvi Greenberg
Like chapters of prophecy my days burn, in all the revelations,
And my body between them’s a block of metal for smelting,
And over me stands my god, the Smith, who hits hard:
Each wound that Time has opened in me opens its mouth to him
And pours forth in a shower of sparks the intrinsic fire.
This is my just lot - until dusk on the road.
And when I return to throw my beaten block on a bed,
My mouth is an open wound,
And naked I speak with my god:
You worked hard.
Now it is night; come let us both rest.
Leave a Reply.
Here's the way it works. From Monday to Thursday I will be posting a 5 minute podcast of the chapter of the day. It will be a brief summary with a few points to ponder. I will also be sending out the Sefaria text so you can use it.