Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time preparing to lead High Holiday services. My role is primarily to lead congregational singing, while my partner, a rabbi, will do most of the opining.
This means that my preparations are mostly mechanical. Do I know the proper melody for each prayer? Have I chosen tunes that my congregation will recognize and be able to sing with me? Which sections should I skip and which are essential? And so on.
The result is that I’ve been feeling a kind of disconnect; whenever I actually pay attention to the prayers themselves, I realize that I’m not doing the kind of preparations that these “holidays” call for.
It’s no surprise, then, that I was taken aback yesterday when I was practicing the 27th Psalm, which has the line “one thing I ask of the Lord…” The first words of that verse, “achat sha’alti” can also be translated as “I have one question.”
And I laughed out loud. One question?! Are you kidding? I have a million questions. I’m a little jealous of the Psalmist, if he had only one question.
Which brings me back to the topic of unresolved issues, which is what started this whole blogging thing in the first place. Back in June, Ellie and I were at the library; when she swiped her card in the self-check-out machine, the screen said: “You have unresolved issues with your card. Please see a librarian.”
And I thought, hell yes I have unresolved issues! So I started blogging to try to sort them out. Which turns out to have been a colossal failure, because if anything, I have even more than when I started.
If you’re a regular reader here, thanks for taking the journey with me thus far. If I come up with any answers, I’ll keep you posted. But don’t hold your breath.