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A new moon song

Looking ahead to a new lunar month, Elul.

Interpreting Psalm 81: A Psalm to Sing Again and Help us Gather-in

Harninu – Why not? Why not sing

For God’s sake, from the core, voice our strength, voice our joy,

Echo the shouts of our ancestors

Noah's 'Land ho!'

Abraham’s: ‘Here I am!’ Sarah’s laughter.

Rebecca’s: ‘What am I?’

Jacob’s: ‘Wow, I, I did not realize that…’

Hillel’s: ‘If not now, when!’

Lift the dusking of a new day’s song from within

Beat it out like a drum, shake it like a tambourine, or finger it gently like harp-strings.

Fill it with breath, as if you are bringing the new moon to life

Taking hold of the shining lunar sliver, swelling, like sound

waves through a shofar

Freeing it from shadows

To celebrate this day!

That’s just the way it is

When you’re part of the band, and you are!

Eventually you’ve got to make some noise.

At first, it rings foreign in the ears.

The notes go way back, to Egypt’s Nile, to Sinai’s wild

Until the patterns emerge in space-time

And the melody works its way into your shoulders,

Loosening the weights and the knots and the knocks

We’ve been carrying around all year long.

Tzurrus – sorrow and stress, rocks of ages…there they go.

Even the hidden pains, clouding your blind spots,

Come rolling down like thunder

Like the waters freed from the rock

Leaving only honey.

Leave the rebellion for another day.

Today, be the sweetness in the air. Selah!

What’s that? Come on, now stop protesting.

Open your mouth, and let Wonder fill it

With a new line, a new song.

‘This year it can be different. This year it will be different.’

No-One wants your “same old” service.

Open your mouth and taste a new turn of phrase

To name holy in this moment, this ever-present present.

Turn your kvetch into a stretch[1], stretch that stiff neck.

No sense stumbling on old stones that you yourself can lift.

Turn ‘em ‘round and ‘round,

It’s all there. Kisses sweet as honey.

Pucker up and sing.

[1] An expression learned from Rabbi Marcia Prager, who adds, “and your Oy into Joy.”

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