Psalms for Contemplation

Excited to share news of a new publication, Psalms for Contemplation: Invitation to an Intimate Reading of Selections from 36 Psalms, by Max D. Ticktin (z”l, 1922-2016), edited and introduced by Deborah McCants and Ruth Ticktin. Preface: Rabbi Edward Feld. Poetica Publishing, Dec. 2020.

Video overview of Psalms for Contemplation by Max Ticktin

More about Max Ticktin and the book

Resources on Psalms

I’ve been collecting resources on individual psalms for study on a monthly basis. (Local to DC? Check out Temple Micah, third Tuesdays of the month, 1:30 – 3 p.m.) Here are the materials so far (last updated 7/17/19 — here is the stable page where more will be added.)

Psalm 1 Resources (PDF)

Psalm 92 Resources (PDF)

Psalm 8 Resources(PDF)

Psalm 22 Resources (PDF)

Coming soon, a few notes, by request, on Ugaritic and the Psalms, and more resources related to individual psalms as they are gathered.

Awaiting the Harvests: Re’eh Prayer Links

“You find three verses [two in this week’s portion] that command you to rejoice in the Feast of Tabernacles….For Passover, however, you will not find even one command to rejoice. Why not?” Several explanations are offered in the commentary for the variations of joy-related commandments (there is one command to rejoice for Shavuot). Each explanation suggests important ideas about the calendar, including the upcoming fall holidays, and reciting Hallel throughout the year.

(For more on the festival cycle, see, e.g., Michael Strassfield’s article at My Jewish Learning.)
Continue reading Awaiting the Harvests: Re’eh Prayer Links

Korach: Something to Notice

…the ground that was under them split apart, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households and every human being that was Korah’s, and all the possessions. And they went down, they and all that was theirs, alive to Sheol, and the earth covered over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.
Continue reading Korach: Something to Notice

“Thus they pass, the Psalms”

Yehuda Amichai’s poem, “One I Wrote Now and in Other Days: Thus Glory Passes, Thus Pass the Psalms,” includes — not surprisingly — much language that comes directly from or alludes to the Psalms. For the stanza which begins “Thus glory passes. Thus they pass, the psalms,” the following references might be helpful. (See Temple Micah’s webpage for Hebrew and English text citations and more information.)

Ashrei ha-ish — happy is the man — Psalm 1:1
[only such reference, I think: other references I found are to a happy “adam,” rather than an “ish“]
Continue reading “Thus they pass, the Psalms”

(Re)counting: Amichai’s Perfect Rest

Temple Micah’s Hebrew Poetry group (aka Amichai Study group) is currently reading “Once I wrote Now and in Other Days: Thus Glory Passes, Thus Pass the Psalms” from the book Open Closed Open. (Visit Temple Micah’s webpage for links to the text, the group and more.) This past Shabbat, we read the stanza beginning “I want to live till even the words in my mouth are nothing but vowels and consonants…” (#7 in the English; #8 in the Hebrew), and I found the connections to Psalm 19 striking.
Continue reading (Re)counting: Amichai’s Perfect Rest