Oxford Jewish Thought

Lectures, essays, questions & articles

by Rabbi Eli Brackman

'As the Hart that panteth after the water brooks (Psalm 42:1): Jewish New Year reflections on an Oxford college coat of arms'

Hart.jpgInterspersed around Oxford, one can find mottos in Latin, which have Hebrew Biblical origin. This includes the motto of the university: ‘Dominus illuminatio mea,’ from Psalm chapter 27: ‘The Lord is my light, and my salvation; whom then shall I fear: the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid.’ This is read in the Hebrew prayers from the beginning of the month of Elul until the end of Sukkot. A lesser-known motto may be found over the front gate of Hertford College, opposite the Bodleian Library. It bears the motto: ‘Sicut cervus anhelat ad fontes aquarum,’ which is taken from Psalm 42:1, and widely translated, taken from the King James Bible, as: ‘As the hart panteth a… Read More »

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