My Prayer for Elul

It’s Rosh Hodesh Elul, the first of the last month of the Jewish year – also known as the month of spiritual preparation that leads into Rosh Hashanah. I plan to write extensively about Elul rituals over the next few weeks – in the meantime, here is my own rendering of Psalm 27, which is traditionally recited every morning this month.

Rosh Hodesh Sameach – a joyful and spiritually fruitful Elul!

Psalm 27

You are my light my hope
why should I fear
You are my life and my strength
why do I tremble

When I contemplate surrender
to my dread
to my terror of the unknown
I hold tight to you
and your strength gives me strength

Just one thing I ask of you
just this one thing
that I find welcome in your home
all the days of my life
to behold your beauty
to dwell in your innermost place

For in you there is shelter
in times of hardship and disquiet
in your tent there is sanctuary
from that place I will sing
a joyful song to the darkness
with openness and love

Do you hear my song
do you hear me when I cry
do not turn away
I seek you endlessly
I turn toward your light
it seems
I’ve sought your face
forever

Still in my darkest moments
this I do know
even if my father and mother abandon me
you will always be there
to gather me up

Teach me the ways of wholeness and justice
remind me that no matter how far I may stray
from this path
there is always a way to return

Even if I can’t always see it
I will ever believe in your goodness
right here
right now
in the land of the living

Hold on to your hope
and be strong
the time of our return will soon
arrive

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6 Comments on “My Prayer for Elul”

  1. Eric Selinger says:

    Beautiful!

  2. vickie korey says:

    Thank you Brant, reading this enabled me to take a deep breath at the end of a frustrating day and to look forward to a new dawn tomorrow.
    Vickie

  3. lesley says:

    I read this several times today, breathing it in — piece by piece, word by word — on my first day in my new home, in my new city. Full of fear. Grasping at faith. Thank you for the reminder of what I know as the third step…..and for the promise that with G-d, I can never be abandoned.

  4. This is such a beautiful rendering of this psalm. Thank you for posting it.

  5. What an exquisite translation of Psalm 27, thank you!


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