"Spiritual Strength for Men" Prayer Book

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Posted by anon ( on September 21, 2003 at 22:33:42:

First off - great job Jonah - the site it really getting more and more wonderful! I wish we could have something like a list of all the Baha'i Texts (like the Leiden List) linked with official translations and provisionals and sources and such.

Well, to my topic - the book "Spiritual Strength for Men" ie Prayers for Men printed by Kalimat press. This is an interesting book. I wanted to know what people out there think about it. I have some thoughts I wanted to share and some questions as well.

First, it seems to me that this book is compiled to serve the needs of the stereotypical American male - often doing so using literal representations of the writings. For instance, headings include:

-"A New Race of Men" - which fortunately they comment on at the end of the book mentioning that 'men' often refers to humankind.
-Army of God
-Gird Up Thy Loins

etc (a number of them ommitted)

It seems that some terms may have just been "oceaned" (just coined a new verb) and placed in these categories (which are also noted to be arbitrary in the book).

But then there are some gender issues - for instance, there is a section for Children. Included in this is a subheading for Prayer for sons - which include two prayers which don't immediately seem to be explicitly for male children. Does anyone know anything that would make this so? I can post them if you like. The prayers for daughters are obvious - the words daughter and handmaiden are used.

Also, there seems to be some less-common writings in here and I am wondering if they are all authorized translations.

The book contains a text it calls "Tablet of the Virgin" (reminder - "prayers for men"). As a footnote, it mentions that this is actually "Lawh-i-Ruya, also known as the Tablet of the Vision." I don't quite understand why this first title is used at all, the word "Virgin" is mentioned once in the tablet though. Shoghi Effendi in God Passes By translates Lawh-i-Ru'yá as "Tablet of the Vision" (pg 221). Why would this other term be used?

In the provisional translated by Stephen Lambden posted on this site for said tablet(https://bahai-library.com/provisionals/lawh.ruya.lambden.html), the term "Virgin" found in this prayer book is translated as "Maiden" with a footnote:

lit. ‘Leafí, ‘Nightingaleí.. waraqat al-núráí

Does anyone have any ideas? This also brings up the issue - how do Tablets have names? Did Baha'u'llah title His own tablets?



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