Letters | Sojourners


Letters to the Editor from Sojourners Readers
Everett Historical / Shutterstock
Everett Historical / Shutterstock
Beatitude of Rest

Brian Doyle is in good company in his article “The Final Frontier” (January 2016) when he translates “the poor in spirit” as “humble.” George Lamsa’s Holy Bible from the Aramaic of the Peshitta also translates Matthew 5:3 as “Blessed are the humble, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Going deeper, Neil Douglas Klotz, in Prayers of the Cosmos, tells us that the first beatitude in Aramaic is“Tubwayhun l’meskenaee b’rukh d’dilhounie malkutha d’ashmaya.” He says the word meskenaee invokes a solid home base or resting point, and rukh can be translated as spirit, breath, or soul and is related to the cosmic breath of life, rukha d’qoodsha, or Holy Breath. I find that when I am praying or meditating and my breath slows and deepens, I often experience a peacefulness that feels like “the kingdom of heaven.”

Arlene Jech
San Francisco, California

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