I periodically pull books off the shelves here at the library and provide random quotes. With Passover approaching, I thought perhaps a page from an Ashkenazi Haggadah would be an appropriate fit for the sacred. And as for the profane, just what does “Mencken-ish” mean, anyway?
Frame 39a from The Ashkenazi Haggadah, a Hebrew manuscript of the mid-15th Century from the collections of the British Library, written and illuminated by Joel Ben Simeon called Feibusch Ashkenazi, with a commentary attributed to Eleazar ben Judah of Worms; London: Abradale Press.
The translation: The breath of every living thing shall bless your name, O Lord, our God; and the spirit of all flesh shall glorify and exalt the remembrance of you, our king, continually. For ever and ever you are God, and apart from you we have no king who redeems and saves. You deliver, protect, sustain, and bestow compassion on us at all times of trouble and distress; we have no king but you. He is God of the first and of the last, God of all creatures, Lord of all generations, magnified with every kind of praise, who conducts his world with love and his creatures with mercy…
I can’t decide which entry I find more odd. From the Personals of the Saturday Review of Literature, March 17 1951, p50.