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Offerings, by Alice Lucas (1898)

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וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר׃
דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
וְיִקְחוּ־לִי תְּרוּמָה
מֵאֵת כָּל־אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִדְּבֶנּוּ לִבּוֹ
תִּקְחוּ אֶת־תְּרוּמָתִי׃ (שמות כה:א-ב)
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto the children of Israel,
that they bring me an offering:
of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart
ye shall take my offering. (Exodus 25:1-2)

וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִיד לְאָרְנָן …
לֹא־אֶשָּׂא אֲשֶׁר־לְךָ לַיהוָה
וְהַעֲלוֹת עוֹלָה חִנָּם׃ (דברי הימים א׳ כא:כד)
And king David said to Ornan …
I will not take that which is thine for the Lord,
nor offer burnt offerings without cost. (I Chronicles 21:24)

Offerings

Shall I offer unto the Lord
That which has cost me naught,
That which I have not bought
For silver and gold at a price?
Shall I to God’s altar bring
Thine oxen for offering?
Then thine, not mine, were the sacrifice.

Let me not bring thee, O Lord,
That which has cost me nought,
Prayers that I have not sought
To shape to my spirit’s need,
Resolves half-hearted and faint,
And hopes and longings that paint
Joys of earth’s giving, not heavenly meed.

Lord, let me bring unto Thee
Prayers that true faith has wrought,
Self-sacrifice, dearly bought,
And patience, whose lamp never dies,
With penitence, set apart;
For a broken and contrite heart
O Lord, Thou wilt not despise.[1] Cf. Psalms 51:19. 

An original poem composed by Alice Julia Lucas and selected for the 29th Shabbat in the cycle of annual readings of the Torah portion in her anthology of poetry and translated piyyutim, The Jewish Year (1898), pp. 42-43.

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Notes

Notes
1 Cf. Psalms 51:19.

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