Psalm for Elul
August 5, 2020
PSALM 21 – Regal joy through curiosity and compassion
June 25, 2020
Psalm 117 - Sharing Honor & Glory
June 24, 2020
Psalm 118 Resung
June 12, 2020
Psalm 24 - Putting Dignity in charge
March 25, 2020
Psalm 22 - when
August 13, 2019
Psalm 17: Prayer Resung for the sake of Friendship [Tzedek/Justice]
August 2, 2019
Psalm 23 in the wake of tragedy
April 30, 2019
April 10, 2019
Three Keys to Humility: Remember, Give, and Sing Out in the Now.
February 24, 2019
What is Elijah's chair?
July 16, 2015
September 25, 2015
Hello Friends, table mates.
In the daily liturgy, this psalm offers a transition between the routine morning blessings,
[and some mourning themes], and the poetry and music that prepares us for the formal service, the Listen and love, [shema], stand and devote [Amidah], study and serve [Torah], etc.
In handful of days between Yom Kippur and the Feast of Booths [Sukkot] we are called on a journey from atonement and fasting to harvesting joy and feasting.
So, I turned to Psalm 30, and offer you this interpretive translation.
Where and how do you make the shift from tears of mouring to songs of joy?
Daily Dose of Dedication and Thanks
In times forgotten, they used to rub oil
On the palates of new-borns awaiting the breast
And when words are carried, and passed along on tongues
The mothers that birthed must wean them at last.
לחנוך la’hanoch meant to train, nursing child, ailing hearts
And hanuccah is dedication, lubricating fresh starts.
So we train…
The mouth to receive what is lovingly given
The body to perform what the Spirit can dream
The house to breed love, through friendship and peace,
And songs of thanksgiving, sorrow, wonder and praise.
Open the eyes and train them with water.
Cry for the pains, and the weight of our wrongs
Tears for the loss, for what’s left in the field
Now to be watered, made holy and healed.
Open the mind and train her with stillness
Soothe her with silence and empty her bin
Of unwanted anger and sadness, and greed
Of racing and working for what we don’t need.
And I, v’ani amarti b’shalvi,
When I choose from the thoughts of the whirl in my head
Let me lift up the ones that are free from dis-ease
Shalvi is my stillness, the witness who wonders
No pressing “to do’ list, just a longing to be.
Open the ears and train them with music
Rhythms in blues, and yellows and greens.
Drink in the music, invite it to fill me
To move me from mourning to dancing Life’s joy.
Open the lips to suckle at the curves of these mountains
Inhaling the breezes that soften her peaks
Stretching the lungs so they just have to sing.
Adonai Elohai l’olam odeka.
Oh Yah, my God, it’s always good to give thanks.
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