Psalm 81: A Psalm to Sing Again and Gather-us-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
Abraham’s: ‘Here I am!’  Sarah’s laughter.  Rebecca’s: ‘What am I?’
Jacob’s: ‘Wow, I, I did not realize that…’
Miriam’s ‘Sing to Being!”  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, as if bringing a new moon to life
with breath-becoming-melody, inflating
the shining lunar sliver, make it swell like sound
waves through a shofar, freeing it from shadows
to celebrate this day!

When you’re part of the band,
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 wilderness
until patterns emerge in space-time
and the melody works
its way into your shoulders,
loosening the weights, knots and knocks
we’ve been carrying around since last year’s seder.

Tzurrus – sorrow and stress, rocks of ages
…there they go.
Even the hidden pains that distort love and memory
roll away like thunder
like waters freed from rock
leaving only honey.
Leave the next rebellion for another day.
Today, be the sweetness in the air.  Selah!

What’s that?  Come on, now, pause the protest for now.
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,
Naming holy this ever-present present.
Turn your kvetch into a stretch[1] of your stiff neck.
No sense stumbling on old stones we can lift together.
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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