I spent several hours last night and several more hours today chanting the many names of the Lord. Otherwise known as high holiday services at the synagogue.
I am in the choir, so I really had to participate, and I really had to learn the music and the words and to some extent, have an understanding of the meaning so that I could sing effectively.
The music is still playing in my head and it feels so auspicious to be haunted by “aveinu malkeinu” and “ya ribon alom” and “y’hu l’ratzon” and many versions of what we call “the adoration”
A lovely passage was included in services today, one which is credited to “an unknown confederate soldier”. But it could just as well have been written by a Jew. Or a Christian. Or a Hindi. Or anyone who has surrendered themselves to a higher power: Isvara Pranidanha. Here it is:
“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey…
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things…
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise…
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God…
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I may enjoy all things…
I got nothing I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among men, most richly blessed!”
After contemplating these words, when it came time to pray silently, as it does several times during the service, I tried to contemplate the “unspoken prayers” because I know that those are the ones that will be answered.
Shana Tovah, everyone.