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אַ פּאָלףּ קדיש | A Kaddish by Reb Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction, 1994)

Image: Monkey, Bananas, John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson and More Bananas” by Mr. Cary and Banksy (license: CC-BY 2.0)

Tired of people who can’t tell their kiddish from their kaddish? Well, it sets Samuel L. Jackson off too! But he found a way of making a brakha and mourning the dead at the same time.[1]Cf. PULP FICTION (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 1994) Now I can’t vouch for the origins of his nusaḥ but it sounds very effective!

Most people haven’t noticed, the only real part from the Bible is that last section (adapted from Ezekiel 25:17), the first part is actually his own spiel.[2]Jules Winnfield’s spiel was adapted from a reference to the verse which first appeared in the THE BODYGUARD (1976), an American release of the Japanese martial-arts film, ボディガード牙 (Karate Kiba, dir. Ikki Kajiwara and Ken Nakagusuku, 1973). Here is Reb Jules Winnfield, in the name of Marsellus Wallace, circa 1994:

Translation (Hebrew) Source (English)

הַדֶרֶךְ שֶׁל הַצָדִיק
מִתְמוֹדֶדֶת בְּכֹּל שָׁלָב
עִם רִשְׁעוּת שֶׁל אָנֹכִיִי
וְהַעָרִיצוּת שֶׁל רְשָׁעִים.‏
The path of the righteous man[3]Cf. Proverbs 4:18. THE BODYGUARD (1976) has “the righteous man and defender.” (translated: הַצָדִיק וּמָגֵן) 
is beset on all sides[4]lit. “confronted at every step.” 
with the iniquities of the selfish
and the tyranny of evil men.

בָּרוּךְ הוּא אֲשֶׁר לְטוֹבַת צֶדֶק וְרַצוֺן טוֺב,
יוֺבִיל אֶת הַחָלָשׁ בְּגֵיְא צַלְמָוֶת
כֵּיוָן הוּא הָשׁוֺמֵר שֶׁל אָחַיו, בְּאֶמֶת
וּמַּצִיל שֶׁל טָפִים אֲבּוּדִים
Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will
shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness,[5]Cf. Psalms 23:4 
for he is truly his brother’s keeper[6]Cf. Genesis 4:9 
and the finder of lost children.[7]THE BODYGUARD (1976) has “the father of lost children,” (translated: וְאַב שֶׁל טָפִים אֲבּוּדִים).

וְעָשִׂ֤יתִי בָם֙ נְקָמ֣וֹת גְּדֹל֔וֹת בְּתוֹכְח֖וֹת חֵמָ֑ה

מִי שֶׁמְּנַסֶּה לְהָרְעִיל וּלְהַרוֺס אֶת הָאַחִים שֶׁלִי

וְיָֽדְעוּ֙ כִּֽי־אֲנִ֣י יְהוָ֔ה בְּתִתִּ֥י אֶת־נִקְמָתִ֖י בָּֽם׃

“And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger”[8]Ezekiel 25:17, first part of verse. 

those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers.

“And you will know that my name is the LORD when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”[9]Ezekiel 25:17, second part of verse.


Translation into Hebrew by Aharon Varady. An earlier version of this post with another translation was originally published by Shmueli Gonzales at his blog, Hardcore Mesorah.

Notes   [ + ]

1. Cf. PULP FICTION (dir. Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
2. Jules Winnfield’s spiel was adapted from a reference to the verse which first appeared in the THE BODYGUARD (1976), an American release of the Japanese martial-arts film, ボディガード牙 (Karate Kiba, dir. Ikki Kajiwara and Ken Nakagusuku, 1973).
3. Cf. Proverbs 4:18. THE BODYGUARD (1976) has “the righteous man and defender.” (translated: הַצָדִיק וּמָגֵן)
4. lit. “confronted at every step.”
5. Cf. Psalms 23:4
6. Cf. Genesis 4:9
7. THE BODYGUARD (1976) has “the father of lost children,” (translated: וְאַב שֶׁל טָפִים אֲבּוּדִים).
8. Ezekiel 25:17, first part of verse.
9. Ezekiel 25:17, second part of verse.

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