Exploring Traffic Jam of Miracles

Exploring Traffic Jam of Miracles

Traffic Jam of Miracles

by Kobi Oz

℗&© Anana Ltd

The miracle is stuck in a traffic jam of miraclesAnd we are just trying and running awayLet’s pull over, one by oneAnd be brothers for a momentWe’re not alone. It’s niceTogether we keep movingLord, who is like unto you among the silent ones? (1)And we too have already forgotten how to prayMay there be abundant peace from heaven and relief and liberationLet there be life and plenty and deliverance and forgiveness and atonement (2) The miracle is stuck in a traffic jam of miraclesThe pauper and the sick have pockets no moreEven if we are at the end of our strengthLet’s look at the destitute and give almsEven if the sign is weakLet’s not give up and let’s give through our deedsLord, who is like unto you among the silent ones?And we too have already forgotten how to prayMay there be abundant peace from heaven and relief and liberationLet there be life and plenty and deliverance and forgiveness and atonement   The miracle is stuck in a traffic jam of miraclesAnd even death has not stopped imposing taxesAll, all of us are here at Mount Nevo (3)Watching from a distanceAll all all of us will come, come, we’ll comeFrom courage will sweetness rise (4)Lord, who is like unto you among the silent ones?And we too have already forgotten how to prayMay there be abundant peace from heaven and relief and liberationLet there be life and plenty and deliverance and forgiveness and atonement  הַנֵּס תָּקוּעַ בִּפְקָק תְּנוּעָה שֶׁל נִסִיםוַאֲנַחְנוּ רַק נָסִים וּמְנַסִּיםבּוֹאוּ נַעֲצֹר בַּצַד אֶחָד אֶחָדנִהְיֶה פִּתְאֹם אָחִיםאֲנַחְנוּ לֹא לְבַד זֶה נֶחְמָדבְּיַחַד מַמְשִׁיכִיםאֱלֹהִים מִי כָּמוֹךָ בָּאִלְמִיםוְגַם אֲנַחְנוּ כְּבָר שָׁכַחְנוּ אֵיךְ מִתְפַּלְּלִיםיְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְרֶוַח וְהַצָּלָהיְהֵא חַיִּים וְשָׁבָע וְשֵׁיזָבָא וּסְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה הַנֵּס תָּקוּעַ בִּפְקָק תְּנוּעָה שֶׁל נִסִיםלָאֶבְיוֹן וּלְחוֹלֶה כְּבָר אֵין כִּיסִיםגַּם אִם כֹּחֵנוּ תַּשׁנַבִּיט בָּרָשׁ וּנְדָבוֹת נָשִׂיםגַּם אִם הָאוֹת חַלָּשׁלֹא נֹאמַר נוֹאָשׁ נִתֵּן בְּמַעֲשִׂיםאֱלֹהִים מִי כָּמוֹךָ בָּאִלְּמִיםוְגַם אֲנַחְנוּ כְּבָר שָׁכַחְנוּ אֵיךְ מִתְפַּלְּלִיםיְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְרֶוַח וְהַצָּלָהיְהֵא חַיִּים וְשָׁבָע וְשֵׁיזָבָא וּרְפוּאָה וּסְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה הַנֵּס תָּקוּעַ בִּפְקָק תְּנוּעָה שֶׁל נִסִיםוְגַם הַמָּוֶת לֹא חָדַל לְהַטִּיל מִסִּיםקוּ קוּ כֻּלָּם כְּבָר פֹּה בְּהַר נְבוֹחוֹזִים לְמֵרָחוֹקקוּ קוּ כֻּלָּנוּ נָבוֹא בּוֹא נָבוֹאמֵעַז יֵצֵא מָתוֹקאֱלֹהִים מִי כָּמוֹךָ בָּאִלְּמִיםוְגַם אֲנַחְנוּ כְּבָר שָׁכַחְנוּ אֵיךְ מִתְפַּלְּלִיםיְהֵא שְׁלָמָא רַבָּא מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְרֶוַח וְהַצָּלָהיְהֵא חַיִּים וְשָׁבָע וְשֵׁיזָבָא וּרְפוּאָה וּסְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה וִישׁוּעָה וְנֶחָמָה וּגְאֻלָּה. 

To download the full pdf guide, click here

To follow the guiding questions online click here

  1. Babylonian Talmud Gittin 52b. This phrase is an ironic re-working of the praise “Who is like you among the Gods” When Titus defiled the Holy of Holies in the Temple without any seeming response from the heavens, the house of Rabbi Ishmael changed “elim – gods” to “ilmim – mute”. Some interpret this as a critique of divine silence, and others see it as praise of divine restraint.
  2. These lines come from the Kaddish recited over the death of a loved one. The Ashkenazi version of this prayer does not include the words forgiveness and atonement. Kobi went with the Sephardi version…
  3. Mount Nevo is the place from which Moses looked out over the Promised Land into which he was forbidden to enter.
  4. The phrase comes from Samson, Judges Chapter 14, when discovering a honey-combed bee-hive in the carcass of a lion.

Guiding questions for Traffic Jam of Miracles

There would seem to be a two-way lack of communication in this song: We have forgotten how to pray, and God is mute.

  • Is this a fair interpretation of the song?
  • Is this divine non-communication a situation that you identify with?

Possibly one of the most tragic images of the Bible is of Moses standing on Mount Nevo, looking at the Promised Land he has worked so hard to reach, knowing that he himself will never arrive. A poignant blend of achievement and failure.

  • What do you think Kobi Oz is suggesting when he says that we are all standing at Mount Nevo?
  • What are we looking out at?
  • Where have we not yet reached?
  • If this were a comment on the State of Israel, how would you relate to it?

The song speaks of injustice, of God’s silence, and of poverty. How would you say the music – its rhythm, its harmonies, etc – is commenting on the words?

How does the image of a traffic jam of miracles strike you? Encouraging? Frustrating? Optimistic? Disappointing?

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