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- Finally... told you atiyhnng later than neolithic technology... Congradulations ​and you did it all by yourself. I hope you are proud. ;op+it was metrically and caloeptuclny excellent. ​ A gold-glow day, that was How I valued your approval..As “To every coin ….”, so to every situation: ​ the pluses and minuses. ​ The upsetting minus of you working at 3 or 4 am Florida-time meant that your nights, in fact, were disrupted rather ​than restful..On more than one such no-sleep occasion, we joked about King David’s influence on you, adapting Psalm 57:7-9 Like King David, your.07: [...] heart is ever steadfast..And like King David, you  .08: […] wake the dawn.09: (to) celebrate you, Lord,      among the people; ​and sing      your praise among the nations..But the plus of those sleep-arrested nights meant that the time differences between us seemingly dissipated, and emails could fly back and forth. ​ A 3 a.m. mail from you was a  welcome midmorning coffee break for me.  And how could it be anything but welcome? ​   this respite, full of mind teasing, brain twisting, and word tweaking, a stimulating flurry of exchanges. Combat over the difference between awe – yir’AH, ​  ​fulfilling G-d’s laws through our observation of His wondrous works in our surroundings,​ and fear    PA’khad – keeping G-d’s laws only to avoid punishment, and the implications of each  of these words in the texts. ​ Battles over the fine line between mercy and pity.  Tug-o-war over ‘loving-kindness’ – what does one do with such a long and awkward word?    which incidentally is quite short in the original: KHESS’edd. ​  But which also raises the issue of synonyms… and the fact that a synonym in English isn’t necessarily so in Hebrew. ​ Bit by bit, you prized the treasure chest open, Alan, its trove of prizes being polished ​by your special touch..And there was plain old fun teasing too.  Lots of it.  Like the time you advised that you’d come up with a great solution to Psalm 68:4 after extensive debate, but that you wanted to think it over for a day before releasing it.  Another brilliant clinch in the offing …. The suspense was too much – were there 2 or 3 or more whining requests from me: oy vey, no, no, please ​  ​send ​  ​now! ​ You sent it shortly afterwards, of course, flourished your trademark ​ ‘heh’:​.04:​ Sing unto God and laud his name.      Prepare the way for the sky’s rider. ​     His name is LORD. Exult before him..Though vital to your health, paradoxically you often viewed medical appointments as another setback in this race against time.  When the second half of your week hadn’t been easy, following treatment, you sadly let me know it would not be possible to finish the particular psalm we were working on before the Sabbath commenced. ​ With your keen sensitivity to wording, even when mentioned no names in brief messages, ​you learned to identify which of my children would be coming home, and wish us a restful Shabbat..Luckily, unproductive ‘long weekends’ were not too common. ​ Instead, there were many other evenings when, around midnight or later as I was about to close the computer and go to sleep… ping!  Who can resist the tantalizing ping of the inbox! ​ OK, skim through, acknowledge:​ I’ll check first thing tomorrow. ​ But this work was so rewarding for us both that it was impossible to ignore your draft until the next morning, especially knowing that you’d probably have time to review response notes that very same day if you received them back immediately..So:​ coffee, close reading, corrections and 30 to 40 minutes later, sometimes an hour for a longer or more complex piece, back the notes went.  Always considerate of my schedules, you would add something like: It’s very late for you now.  Don’t stay up for the sake of this draft. ​ But the beauty of the project burned within our hearts, yes, like a kind of love, and who can turn away from love?​************.How many parallel experiences we discovered in our lives, Alan, from puppies to orchards and growing up near large bodies of water. ​ Both of us, sticklers for accuracy in our work; both of us sharing two pet peeves, ‘proactive’,​ and ‘impact’ as a proactive(!) verb; both of us loving our language of preference..We worked well together because we truly admired each other’s spheres of knowledge. ​ Your gratitude was warmly sincere. ​  And your  humility in the face of the powerful poetry woven into these ancient words made working with you a delight. ​ You tackled the raw material, hammering at it until you spun   as described in Psalm 12:6 –silver, refined in earth’s crucible,​strained and purified seven times over..I was awed by how you approached the work, and told you what a privilege it was to observe the process closely, from the inside out, as it were.  We both felt privileged by this versified translation,​ the chance, as  Psalm 33 says, to -03:      Sing a new song to the Lord.           Play it with skill and verve..In psalm 9 verse 12, King David delineates how G-d[…] recalls them:      he never forgets the cry of the meek..We weighed the inferences of  recall, and never forget, the first being active, a purposeful raising into the conscious mind, by stating and restating; the second being more passive, an undertone or background; we explored how these words connected with that core of Bible, the Ten Commandments. ​ Working intensively with you this past year-plus leaves me with so many funny or special shared moments and anecdotes; I will never forget them.  As for classes on Davidic Psalms and their link to principles of Torah, I will keep my promise to you, Alan, and dedicate them in your name, this year, next year, whenever I give such classes, thereby actively, publicly recalling – for, as we discussed in Psalm 86, a name mentioned in connection with study of Bible gladdens the namesake'​s soul..Throughout,​ your achievement was a source of encouragement to many, as we watched you determinedly gain time with the psalms. It was only recently that you wrote the following:​.When we got done with 145, I had no idea so much work might still remain. It is daunting, but it has gone well, I think, and it certainly motivates me to stay alert and fight through my medical troubles. I shall be grateful to let go when the time comes. I am so tired. But not yet..And still you managed to edit so many of the psalms since that note, even completely recasting some of them.  But with every day that passed since your hospitalization,​ and no email winging into my inbox, my heart fractured that bit more.  You could, chronologically,​ have been my older brother, and what a wonderful older brother you often seemed to be throughout this laden but beautiful year of working together. ​ Who better to express how I feel now, than King David in  Psalm 22:14    I am spilled like water. / All my bones disjointed; / my heart is beeswax, / melting within. ​  This, because I mourn you as only a close Elder Sister can.***.Alan ​        May your  insightfulness be a long-lived tribute to your depth of thinking;​.May your keen learning that so enhanced our working together, and the many other traits of character that we all respect and admire, infuse our memories with hues of love;.May these, and so much more, be a comfort to all who were close to you.And may these words which I have spoken stand as testimony in your good stead before God..Alan, dear spirit-kin, if I have unthinkingly offended you or been inconsiderate in any way, I ask your forgiveness..Let’s ​ turn again to Psalm Eleven, the psalm that brought us together:​.01:​ I hope in the Lord.      Would you wish of my soul      be off like a bird …...May your soul, like the bird, be off      to settle beneath wings of everlasting peace and blessed rest.    ta'​NOO’akh ​   ba’sha’LOM. ​  [rest peacefully] ​  Amen.




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