Psalm 137

Ironically abounding in musical variations is Psalm 137,  as the Psalm deals with the inability to sing. Opening with the woeful mourn of a Judean exile in Babylonia, the Psalm ends with a call for violent vengeance. The last three verses of the Psalm are often omitted from the songs and even from liturgy. In discussing my Psalm project, Rabbi Feinstein pointed to the last line of the Psalm as an example of the brutal honesty of Psalms.

Our honoree is Rabbi Ed Feinstein.

Jerusalem’s Yochanan ben Zakai Synagogue Wall Painting of opening verses of Psalm 137

Click below to listen to the musical selections:

Contemporary Israeli singer

Cantor Ira Rohde -Sephardic chant

Dudu Fisher, “If I forget thee O’ Jerusalem,”

Array of variations, including Bach, Leonard Cohen, Steve Reich, and Godspell

Joshua Aaron at the Tower of David (Psalm 137:1-5)- Christian version

 Matisyahu – Jerusalem (Out Of Darkness Comes Light)- chorus- “If I forget…”

Jimmy Cliff, “By the Rivers of Babylon”