Part of the early morning warm-up for prayers — along with awareness of our blessings and awakening body, soul, and mind — is moving from what Mishkan T’filah [Reform prayerbook] calls “self-fulfillment” to “social imperatives of community.” And that means beginning to move through the individual joys and concerns that we brought with us to a communal awareness — of each other and the world beyond these walls.
…To me it’s a little ironic that Mishkan T’filah editors discuss this in the introduction but don’t include my favorite way to accomplish this — the psalms — in the prayerbook proper….
Psalm 30 in particular, on the handout (Psalms Handout; see below), is a great vehicle for moving through our personal laments and dancing, shaken-ness and solidity, as we become aware of participating in thousands of years and millions upon millions of voices crying out and healing, praising without ceasing.
In this season of Elul, Psalm 27 is also recited, asking God to help us feel the divine presence as we seek to return to ourselves, as individuals and as a People in the new year.
And, finally, I repeat a teaching I learned earlier this summer about the nearness of all we need — like the water right in front of the deer in Psalm 42 — and how it is, even still, for us to experience what sustains us. We do, after all, have to become vulnerable, if only for moment.
Note: Please note that Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb’s first name contains a typo on this handout, PsalmsAugust22. My apologies.
See also, “Morning: Blessing, with Echo of Gunshots.”