June 27, 2023 by Lazer Brody
On Sabbath Day after the Torah reading, we return the Torah scroll to the ark and sing “Etz Chaim”, two moving passages from Proverbs 3:17-18. This is King Solomon’s metaphor that the Torah is a Tree of Life. Here is an original melody that came to me during hitbodedut (personal prayer) under the starry sky of one beautiful Sabbath evening here in the south of Israel. This recording features Guy Tzvi Mintz on guitar and vocal with yours truly on Native Israel flutes and background vocal. I hope you enjoy it, for it’s a piece of my soul that I’d like to share with you. You can download here it for free, courtesy of Emuna Beams.
To enable you to sing along, here are the lyrics, by King Solomon, in Hebrew, English transliteration and English translation.
עֵץ-חַיִּים הִיא, לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ; וְתֹמְכֶיהָ מְאֻשָּׁר
דְּרָכֶיהָ דַרְכֵי-נֹעַם; וְכָל-נְתִיבוֹתֶיהָ שָׁלוֹם
Chorus (from Lamentations 5:21, lyrics by Jeremiah the Prophet):
הֲשִׁיבֵנוּ ה’ אֵלֶיךָ וְנָשׁוּבָה, חַדֵּשׁ יָמֵינוּ כְּקֶדֶם
Etz chaim he, lamachazikim ba; v’tomcheha m’ushar.
Dracheha darchei noam; v’kol netivoteha shalom.
Hashivenu A-donai elecha v’nashuva; chadesh yamenu k’kedem.
She is a tree of life to those who cling to her; her ways are ways of pleasantry and all her paths are peace.
Return us to You, Hashem! Renew our days as of old.