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Naḥamu (Comfort Ye!), a hymn by J.C.L. (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)


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נחמו נחמו
By Babel’s streams thy children wept;
Then mute, oh! Israel, was thy choir;
While as thy weary exiles slept,
And on the Willow hung thy Lyre,
A Seraph’s voice soft as the dew,
Fell on their dream with נחמו (naḥamoo.)
No song makes glad that mournful voice;
No ease is for that bruised breast;
‘Till He who led thee to rejoice,
Sends forth on Zion his behest!
Firm as thy faith in Him is true,
Like Manna falls the נחמו (naḥamoo.)
The stranger hath usurp’d the seat,
Where crown’d with glory blaz’d thy Fane,
“The flow’ry brooks, thy hallow’d feet
Still wash,” oh! Zion, still remain,
To mark the ruin, and renew
The mem’ry of the נחמו (naḥamoo.)
Thy mercy shines, a ling’ring beam,
The Pilgrim on his path to light–
From Sinai’s brow, from Jordan’s stream,
From off’rings of the heart contrite,
Thy promise all our hopes imbue,
And blessed is thy נחמו (naḥamoo.)

“Naḥamu (Comfort Ye!),” by an unknown author known only by their initials, J.C.L., was published in 1842, and appears as Hymn 2 in Hymns Written for the Service of the Hebrew Congregation Beth Elohim, South Carolina (Penina Moïse et al., Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim, 1842), p. 7. The hymn was one of three original hymns offered at the consecration of the new synagogue building in 1842. The identity of J.C.L. remains undetermined. –Aharon Varady






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