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Elul 15: Song

by Hillel News |Aug 30, 2015|Comments

First Blast: Text

אָשִׁירָה וַאֲזַמְּרָה לה'

I will sing and chant praise to the Lord.


Second Blast: Commentary

These two different roots for singing (shir and zemer) often appear in the Psalms. For example, towards the end of Psalm 104, a long paean featuring a rich description of nature, the speaker declares: אָשִׁירָה לה' בְּחַיָּי אֲזַמְּרָה לֵאלֹהַי בְּעוֹדִי : I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will chant hymns to my God as long as I exist. Jews traditionally recite Psalm 104 on Rosh Hodesh, the first of the month, which in some ways functions as a miniature Rosh Hashanah. Celebrating the Hebrew year, including Rosh Hashanah, puts us in touch with the cycles of nature and inspires us to praise the wonders of the world.


Third Blast: Practice

When words become inadequate, song takes over. If you feel overwhelmed today, for either good or bad reasons, take a moment to sing a song you especially like.


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  • Elul
  • Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience
  • 2015

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