Ruth's been waiting רות ממתינה

Avior Byron

Ruth’s been waiting

 

For four years Ruth’s been waiting for an oath,

Waiting without knowing she’s been waiting.

Shalom Aleichem, ministering angels.*

The angel Hashandragum** is sent

To court the promise-makers.

He courts Rabbi Oath-Maker,

He courts Rabbi Illusion,

He courts Rabbi Great-Confidence,

He courts Rabbi Slander.

Knocks on door after door

Turning oath-makers into Jews

But there’s no answer.

Another year passes, then another

 

For three years Ruth has longed for a hug,

Longing without knowing she was longing.

Boachem leshalom, angels of peace.*

The angel Shosriel** is sent to court the drunkards.

He courts Rabbi Wineglass,

He courts Rabbi Leech,

He courts Rabbi Bottle,

He courts Rabbi Cork.

Knocks on door after door.

Wants to erase doubts

But there’s no redeemer.

Another year passes, then another

 

For two years Ruth has hoped for tears to flow

Hoping without knowing she was hoping.

Barchuni leshalom,

Angels of peace.*

The angel Libre-al** is sent

To court the watchers.

He courts Rabbi Looker

He courts Rabbi Watchful

He courts Rabbi Glances

Knocks on door after door,

Gives birth among the pests,

But no one answers.

Another year passes, then another

On the fourth year Ruth prays to the sleepers.

 

She prays without knowing she is praying.

Farewell, safe journey, angels of peace.*

The angel Haloel** is sent to court the drowsy ones.

He courts Rabbi Dream

He courts Rabbi Sleepy

He courts Rabbi Sound Asleep

He courts Rabbi Deep Slumber.

Knocks on door after door,

Converts the sleepers,

And there’s a redeemer.

Finally,

They’ve become penitent.

* From the traditional Sabbath song recited when one returns from synagogue on Friday night.

** Name of angel according to some Jewish mystics.


Translated to English by Mark Elliott Shapiro