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A Weaning Party?

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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