The indomitable strength of Judaism and Christianity resides in their capacity for taking Scripture literally. The movement away from the literalization of scriptural details is a weakening of the ability of those details to be embodied in ways beyond the literal.
It is the literal Sabbath, the literal tefillin, the literal miqva that keep the Jewish people. Take the literal away, and the ability of the literal to be "carried" or metaphorized through media large and small is weakened.
It is the literal Eucharist, the literal washing of feet, the literal imposition of ashes that keep the Christian people. Take the signs away, and the signified fades away.
Take away what new atheists call “genital mutilation” (circumcision) and “ritual cannibalism” (the Eucharist), and you rip out the heart of living faith.
Psalm 145 includes the phrase “every day I bless you,” and so, in a typical example of literalization, an observant Jew blesses Ha-Shem with this psalm three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening.
I make use of the Koren Siddur for prayers. The English of the edition is not meant to replace the Hebrew; it makes no sense to pray the Siddur except in Hebrew. I would have preferred, however, that biblical text were reproduced with neumes (the so-called “accents”). If nothing else, the traditional syntactic and prosodic parse is before one’s eyes.
Much more could be done through formatting to allow visual tracking of form and structure, Psalm 145:1-7 may exemplify.
אֲרוֹמִמְךָ֣ אֱלוֹהַ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וַאֲבָרֲכָ֥ה שִׁ֝מְךָ֗ לְעוֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד׃
בְּכָל־י֥וֹם אֲבָרֲכֶ֑ךָּ וַאֲהַלְלָ֥ה שִׁ֝מְךָ֗ לְעוֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד׃
גָּ֘ד֤וֹל יְהוָ֣ה וּמְהֻלָּ֣ל מְאֹ֑ד וְ֝לִגְדֻלָּתוֹ֗ אֵ֣ין חֵֽקֶר׃
דּ֣וֹר לְ֭דוֹר יְשַׁבַּ֣ח מַעֲשֶׂ֑יךָ וּגְב֖וּרֹתֶ֣יךָ יַגִּֽידוּ׃
הֲ֭דַר כְּב֣וֹד הוֹדֶ֑ךָ וְדִבְרֵ֖י נִפְלְאוֹתֶ֣יךָ אָשִֽׂיחָה׃
וֶעֱז֣וּז נוֹרְאֹתֶ֣יךָ יֹאמֵ֑רוּ וּגְדוּלֹּתֶיךָ אֲסַפְּרֶֽנָּה׃
זֵ֣כֶר רַב־טוּבְךָ֣ יַבִּ֑יעוּ וְצִדְקָתְךָ֥ יְרַנֵּֽנוּ׃
MT 145:5 seems muddled. Based on internal considerations and in light of 11QPsa LXX Syr, it might be best to restore as follows:
הֲדַ֣ר כְּבוֹדְךָ֣ יְדַבֵּ֑רוּ וְנִפְלְאוֹתֶ֣יךָ אָשִֽׂיחָה׃
A song of praise of David.
1 I exalt you, my God is king;
your name will I bless, always and forever!
2 Every day I bless you,
your name will I praise, always and forever!
3 Great is יהוה, most worthy of praise,
his greatness, inexhaustible.
4 One generation lauds your deeds to another,
they set forth your feats of power.
5 The splendor of your glory they describe,
your wonders will I rehearse.
6 The fist of your fearsome deeds they tell,
your greatness will I recount.
7 The fame of your great goodness they declaim,
your justice they sing.
For a better idea of the form and structure of Psalm 145:1-7, go here (view at 150%). Here is a screenshot (click to enlarge).
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