Memorial for Walter Blum – Livnat HaSapir

by Brian on June 1, 2010

in A Parent in Israel,Jewish Holidays and Culture,Music

(שמות ×›”ד, ×™)

This is the sixth in a series of posts from the memorial for my father, Walter Blum, who passed away last year. The event mixed music and humanistic interpretations of Jewish texts to try to share what my father was like and what he was passionate about.


I’m going to take some greater liberties with the words to the next song. The beginning of the verse that you see is cut off – we only sing part of it, beginning with “K’maaseh livnat hasapir.” But in context it reads “and there was under his feet a kind of paved work of sapphire stone.” It’s the “under his feet” that spoke to me and made me laugh as well. Daphna described it to me as “God’s ottoman.”

If I think about my father, the position I most often imagine him in is in his easy chair in the family room with his feet up on the ottoman – his own sapphire stone.

His chair was like the captain’s chair on the bridge of Star Trek. He sat there facing the view screen – the TV in this case – with his remote controls at his side. I know this sounds a little superficial, but TV was a really a big part of our lives growing up. And my father helped shape our relationship to pop culture.

Now, we had only one TV in the house and there was no cable in those days, so my father chose what we watched. Otherwise, would we have ever chosen Masterpiece Theater ourselves? Or the Prisoner? Monty Python perhaps. All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ed Sullivan. Hawaii 5-0, The Avengers – remember all those? How my brother and I ever snuck in the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family, I’ll never know.

So tonight I am transposing the literal meaning of the text, describing how God sat watching the world, to how my father sat watching through his own little window on his world.

To view the entire memorial evening on a single page, please click here.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 avidan@israel June 6, 2010 at 2:09 pm

very beautiful liric song, and though its just two persons singing-the sound is very rich!

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