אַל־תַּסְתֵּ֬ר פָּנֶ֨יךָ ׀ מִמֶּנִּי֮ אַֽל־תַּט־בְּאַ֗ף עַ֫בְדֶּ֥ךָ עֶזְרָתִ֥י הָיִ֑יתָ אַֽל־תִּטְּשֵׁ֥נִי וְאַל־תַּֽ֝עַזְבֵ֗נִי אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׁעִֽי׃
Do not hide Your face from me; do not thrust aside Your servant in anger; You have ever been my help. Do not forsake me, do not abandon me, O God, my deliverer. Psalm 27:9 [Sefaria]
Elizabeth looks back on a painful time when it felt like God had rejected her (and other LGBTQ rabbinical students). Elul is a time when we not only let ourselves feel present discord but past hurts as well.
What feelings do these experiences bring up for you? Have you been able to let God back in? Maybe, as Elizabeth ponders, God was really there the whole time.
Sunday, August 30, 2020 Elul Weekday Shacharit Zoom Service Replay [Click Here to Listen]
Thank you Rabbi Marcia Prager for the Siddur Material [Aleph Jewish Renewal].
Weekday Shacharit Siddur
"For your sake my heart seeks your face; your face does my heart seek.” Psalm 27:8
Devorah reflects on the face to face encounter with the Divine through her experiences as a young girl with her grandmother. Citing Victor Hugo, Moses and the God of the Exodus, we are pushed to see God in the face of the other. We then find ourselves elevated by a free offering of abundant love from an unexpected place.
Shema Adonai Listen God
Koli Eqra When My voice calls you
V’ Haneni That you should have compassion on me
V’anaeni That you answer You answer me
Elizabeth ponders the risk of calling out to God in difficult times, and even more risky, waiting for the answer.
How free do we feel to let God share in our burdens?
How patient can any of us be to wait for an answer that may be too hard to bear?
Perhaps, if we let ourselves be open enough, God will respond with compassion and grace.
Psalm 27:6 “Now my head is high over my enemies all around; I sacrifice in His tent with shouts of joy, singing and chanting a hymn to the Adonai. “
Devorah reflects on a childhood friend named Jacob, who was bullied. With the help of friends and his own inner strength, he prevailed by “going high.”
Elizabeth composed “yarum roshi—-my head held high” to accompany Devorah’s story and, as usual, Devorah’s editing work brings us all to a higher plane.
Psalm 27:5 “God will shelter me in Her sukkah on a bad day, grant me the protection of His tent, raise me high upon a rock.”
Elizabeth bemoans having the holiday of Sukkot during the Corona Pandemic and looks to verse 5 for rejuvenating inspiration and a new approach to the holy days of Sukkot.
Devorah harmonizes with Elizabeth’s memorized version of the verse from Jewish day school days.
Elul Reflection Psalms 27:4 Devorah Tucker-Fick explores the famous verse 4 of Psalm 27, sometimes called Achat Shaalti (one thing do I ask of God), by asking us to consider, “What is a House of God?” She also brings us an original musical interpretation of Achat Shaalti that is easy to learn and you can use at home and/or when you return to shul. This is pretty much one of my favorite lines from Torah so Thanks Devorah.
Psalm 27 Verse. 3 “Should war besiege me, still I would not be afraid; should an army encamp against me, in this would I put my trust.“ Devorah contemplates her time in Iraq as she drives a truck through a dark moonlit road. How can we navigate between fear and trust when we are face to face with our own fragility?
Thanks to David Meyersberg for blowing the shofar in today’s recording and his son Charles for making sure it got to us. We will use this shofar blast throughout the rest of Elul.
August 23, 2020 Weekday Service Listen Here Passcode 4^$#pqC2
Our second Elul offering explores verse 2 of Psalm 27, where we contemplate what it means to have enemies, and the way in which our soul engages with negative forces. Devorah shares with you her vision inspired by the Gemara and Kabbalistic teachings during a contemplative journey through the Universe.
Enjoy our Elul offerings beginning tonight as we celebrate Rosh Hodesh Elul. If you are sitting and listening and you would like to light a candle with us, have a candle and a match ready. Tonight through Friday, we welcome Rosh Hodesh and explore the “light” in the first verse of Psalm 27, also known by its first words as “L’david Hashem Ori V’Yishi.” For the first 14 days of Elul we will use music and narrative to this Psalm. We hope you will find this audio recording a useful tool to enter into the introspection of Elul.
Our theme song for these days is the song “Kaveh el Yah” by Rabbi Hanna Tiferet Siegel. Devorah and I have done a cover of this beautiful song which you can find in its original form on the album Seeds of Wonder. For Rosh Hodesh, we are singing our cover of “Rosh Hodesh (New Moon) Candlelighting” song, music composed by Linda Hirschhorn and original text by Marcia Falk. The blessing can be found in Marcia Falk’s Book of Blessings and the original musical composition can be found on Behold! by the amazing A cappella group, the Vocalot.
Beginning Thursday, August 20, 2020 Hineni.Space will begin posting brief daily offerings (Elul meditations, reflections, and melodies). There is a tradition to hear the shofar every day of the month of Elul and to recite the verses of Psalm 27.
For 14 days we will explore the wisdom of the 14 verses of Psalm 27. And for the remainder of Elul we will introduce the liturgy of the High Holy Days. Because these are audio recordings, you can listen to them, when you have time, or while you are involved in other activities.
In this way we will prepare together for the Days of Awe and solidify our connections to one another. We look forward to your feedback on this endeavor.
Hineni.Space posts brief daily offerings (Elul meditations, reflections, poetry, and melodies). There is a tradition to hear the shofar every day of the month of Elul and to recite the verses of Psalm 27.