Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving in Jerusalem

Celebrated Thanksgiving today in Jerusalem with visiting American FOA/FOM ("Friend of Amy's / Friend Of Mine")Larry Schaffer at the Israel Museum and viewed The Thanksgiving Scroll, one of the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Qumuran by Bedouins in 1947.

The Thanksgiving Scroll is also known as the "Hodayot," contains sacred poetry and hymns from the Bible written on parchment and sealed within ordinary household pottery about 100 BCE.

The content varies from poem to poem but there are certainly overriding themes: first and foremost the scroll talks about and to God and is usually contrasted with the weakness, dependency, unworthiness and wretchedness of the human condition (thereby exalting God’s power and perfection even more).

Other main themes include: salvation of the just and destruction of the wicked, gratitude for divine insight, personal accounts of exile/persecution, and God delivering the speaker from such plights.

“The wicked of the people rush against me with their afflictions, and all the day long they crush my soul. But You, O my God, turn the tempest to a whisper, and the life of the distressed You have brought to safety as a bird from the snare and as prey from the power of lions”

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