The close of Psalm 27 —
קַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה: חֲזַק, וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ; וְקַוֵּה, אֶל-יְהוָה.
Hope in the LORD; strengthen yourself, let your heart take courage, and hope in the Lord [Psalm 27:14]
— is often cited as a motivational aphorism, particularly for the penitential season. This is its role in this meditation for Elul, for example.
Psalms 27:14 is employed in the Babylonian Talmud as a proof-text for appropriate attitude in prayer. The passage includes a discussion on prayer and hope, including — like the question Langston Hughes asks in “Harlem” — what happens to hope deferred.
Psalms 27:14 stands out in that it uses the second person (command) form, while the previous 13 verses are in the first person: “God is My light…whom should I fear?” etc. This raises the question: Whose heart is to hope?
Continue reading Yet More on Psalm 27 (3 of 4)
I recently picked up The Best of Simple, a collection of short stories by Langston Hughes, and was struck by an amazing prayer that the main character says he would offer, were he “a praying man.”
Continue reading Langston Hughes’ Simple Prayer
[Originally posted on Fabrangen e-list, in response to a post, “Certain Unalienable Rights,” by R. Arthur Waskow encouraging “open discussion of what we would today write into such a visionary Declaration of peace, justice, and ecological responsibility, and — perhaps especially poignant in many countries this year what actions we might take to carry out such a Declaration.”]
Continue reading Declarations of Independence, Peace, etc.