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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 devour me 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 against me 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 dawn

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

I will

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


Type of Custom: Psalms, Poetry & Songs, Prayers for Forgiveness

Holiday/Event: High Holidays

Source: Norman Fischer