A Psalm for Elul- Psalm 27

Tradition asks us to recite Psalm 27 during the month of Elul as we prepare for the High Holidays.

I share the following beautiful translation of the psalm by Rabbi Yael Levy, on Congregation Mishkan Shalom, Philadelphia

 

TO THE BELOVED,

 

THE INFINITE PRESENCE is my light and expanse, whom should I fear?

The Infinite Presence is the strength of my life, what shall I dread?

When forces come close

Seeming to devour me

When narrowness threatens

And opposition attacks

All that is menacing stumbles and falls

 

EVEN AS AN ARMY of mistrust besieges me

My heart does not fear

Even as thoughts and desires rise up against me

I still have trust

 

ONE THING I ASK of the Infinite, One thing I seek

To dwell in the Presence all the days of my life

To awaken to the beauty of each moment as I pass through this world

 

THE INFINITE shelters me as I encounter difficulty and pain

The Infinite holds me close in deep and hidden places

And lifts me high upon a rock. Now I can see through to what is true

And I will offer my gifts of thanks

And I will sing and make music to the Eternal

Please, Infinite One, Listen to my voice, hear my call

 

BE GRACIOUS WITH ME

Answer me

You call to my heart, “Seek my presence”

Your presence I seek

 

Please don’t hide from me

Please don’t let me turn away in anger

I long to serve

You are my help

Do not let me feel abandoned

Do not let me turn away

In You I am safe

For my Mother and father have left me

And it is you who gathers me in

Teach me Your ways. Guide me on the path of integrity

 

THERE IS SO MUCH to lead me astray

Don’t let me give in to all that torments me:

the lies, the illusions, the menacing threats

 

I MUST HAVE FAITH that I can see through all of this

I can see the good, the blessings, the ways of life

 

CULTIVATE HOPE in the Infinite Presence

Let your heart be strong and filled with courage

CULTIVATE HOPE

– Translation by Rabbi Yael Levy

 

 

Ps27

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