Psalm 27 - Contemporary Translation
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Psalm 27 - Contemporary Translation
In the days prior to Rosh Hashanah, throughout the Hebrew month of Elul, traditional Jews add Psalm 27 to their daily prayers. Here’s a contemporary translation by Norman Fischer from his book Opening to You: Zen-Inspired Translations of the Psalms
You are my light and my help
Whom should I fear?
You are the fortress of my life
Whom should I dread?
When the narrow ones gather their strength to
It is they who stumble and fall
Even if a royal army were camped outside my gate
My heart would not fear
And when they struck with terrible weapons
Even then I’d trust
One thing I ask for, one thing I hope--
To live in your house
All the days of my life
To behold your loveliness
Every morning in the light of your temple
Till on a doomful day
You secure me in your precincts
Conceal me within the folds of your covering tent
Place me high and safe upon a rock
My head lifted above the engulfing waves
With the joy of my heart
I will sacrifice
Within that billowing shelter
Singing and playing my abandonment to you
Hear my voice when I raise it up
Be gracious--answer me--
Speaking with your voice my heart sang,
Seek my presence
Do not hide your glowing face from me
Do not reject me in anger because of my shortcomings
You have always been for me
Don’t cast me off now, don’t walk away
My helper, my friend
My mother and father forsake me
But you take me up
Show me the way!
Guide my steps on the clear path
Against the ever-present cliffs and thickets
Protect me from the noise of desire and hatefulness
From false words and shouted accusations
If I did not have faith in your rightness
That it would bloom in this living land--
It is unthinkable
I wait only for you
With strength and good courage--
I wait only for you
by Rabbi Shoshana Friedman,
Temple Sinai, Brookline, MA
Holy One of Blessing!
Grant us strength to be part of a holy uprising
A resistance against the forces of destruction
For we stand in witness of the unity of Creation.
Grant us patience to work well with others
In groups of fellow uprisers
To honor and uplift Your sacred name.
Grant us wisdom to...
[Pour a nearly full glass of red wine again and add just a few drops of white. Drink all.]
We now come to our final cup; the drops of white in the red remind us of the first cup of this seder and of the cyclical nature of the seasons. This final section represents what is invisible to the eye. Instead of eating fruit, we may enjoy sweet smells like cinnamon and rosemary. Beyond the cycle of eating is...
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If you have a shofar, blow it now! If not, make some noise some other way. Belt out a song or try a primal scream. Do what you need to do to...
This is adapted from an original post that I wrote in 2010.
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The World of Yetzirah (Formation) - Fruits with pits at their center
[Add a few drops of red wine and fill the rest with white. Drink half or more.]
We now drink our second cup of wine. Just as each new stream begins with a trickle, each flower with a single bud, just a few drops of color transform the hue of our wine. Although we discard the pits of these fruits, they are the...
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It’s time to say thank you. To your host or to your guests. To the people who have supported you through the last year, and the people who inspire you going forward. Say a real thank you--be as specific as you can, because thank yous are like fuel--they power us for the year to come. And don’t forget to thank God (or the creator/the Universe/the mystical source of connection) one more time for the year you just had,...