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Singing in the mud!

Sunday, 22 March, 2020 - 3:50 pm

The universe is trembling; humanity is on edge. Too many deaths, so much illness, implausible uncertainty, deep feelings of loneliness and a world dreading isolation. While there’s many blessings for us to celebrate, being home alone with the kids for a lengthy period, especially in a home that is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Jewish life, will be a hard adjustment. We will get through this, no doubt, but in the meantime, I share with you a practical idea to deal with the natural anxiety.

The book of Psalms.

I recently read in “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe The World” that “if you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud”. King David had many such moments, misery from enemies, both from outside the palace and from within his own family. Whether Saul or Absalom, the Philistines or Ahithophel, his seventy years on earth were filled with constant saga, fear, hardship and sadness. It was in those fearful moments that David would compose his melodies and Psalms. He’d sing to the Lord with lyre and harp, praising G-d for all His kindness, beseeching Him for mercy, and praying that his enemies don’t reach him.

One week ago, just before Shabbos, and many times since, I’ve done something I’ve never done before, I recited Psalms just to feel close to G-d. I didn’t do this when my mother was dying, I didn’t do it when I’ve been financially broke, and I didn’t do it after 9/11; I did it now. I don’t know why I didn’t do it then, perhaps the “natural” options were more visible. My mother had treatment, I could always fundraise more to secure the bank and after 9/11 we fought back and attacked the terrorists. Covid-19 is something for which I couldn’t fathom a quick enough solution, so I did what Jews do, I talked to G-d. I say Psalms every day as is customary, but this wasn’t to follow the custom, but rather to chat with Hashem.

I know He was listening, I felt it in my bones.

This Shabbos, as you celebrate at home, don’t waste these holy moments on the news, on your phone or checking your portfolio; take out your Psalms and sing to your Creator.

He will sing along!

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Mashiach speedily. May G-d protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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