- Posted by Elaine Zecher
- On July 16, 2021
- 0 Comments
Welcome to Shabbat Awakenings, our weekly reflection as we move toward Shabbat.
As I have shared over the past month, my experience in Israel for 10 days in early July gave me much to ponder. While I participated in the Hartman Rabbinic Leadership Institute, we studied many texts. I was intrigued to learn that Israel had three potential national anthems.
The first is the one that won. HaTikvah is just two sentences. The first speaks of the individual longing from within the soul gazing toward Zion and the second, turns to a communal hope to be a free nation in the land of Zion and Jerusalem. The personal operates in the context of connection to that which is bigger than just one person. There is a practice in some circles in Israel to add the words of Ani Ma’amin after singing HaTikvah as a religious insertion. (I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the messiah, and though he may tarry, still I await him every day.)
Psalm 126 offers a motive for return and recognizes the perspective of the nations to witness what has happened. It also takes into consideration real life experience that tears of sadness can turn to joy. Most importantly, God is the main character who holds memory and hope. Instead of the national anthem, Psalm 126 is an integral part of the blessing after the meal on Shabbat.
A song of ascents. When the Eternal restores the fortunes of Zion —we see it as in a dream— our mouths shall be filled with laughter, our tongues, with songs of joy. Then shall they say among the nations, “The Eternal has done great things for them!” The Eternal will do great things for us and we shall rejoice. Restore our fortunes, Eternal One, like watercourses in the Negeb. They who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy. Though they go along weeping, carrying the seed-bag, they shall come back with songs of joy, carrying their sheaves.
The third option was a poem written at the end of the 19th century called “I Believe” by Shaul Tschernichovsky. Here is one of the many translations:
You can mock me for I’m dreaming
I, the dreamer, am speaking now
Mock for I believe in humans
For I still believe in thou.
For my soul still craves its freedom
To a golden calf it wasn’t sold
For I do believe in humans
Mighty spirits don’t grow old.
Spirit that will thrust its shackles
Will elate on every stage
It won’t starve to death but rather
Freedom, Bread, and no more cage.
Mock for I believe in friendship
And a heart I’ll find again
Heart to share my hopes and courage
Feel my joys, and touch my pain
For I still believe in future
Even if it’s far away
Peace will come indeed, and quiet
Nations will be blessed that day.
These three options all speak of hope, and because of their content create a particular impression of how hope will become manifest. Sometimes music and their words elevate us to a higher perspective so that when we come down, perhaps we gain better insight.
- Join us at Qabbalat Shabbat at 6:00 p.m. Register to be onsite, or join on Zoom, on Facebook Live, or stream on our website here.
- Tot Rock Shabbat gathers HERE at 5:00 p.m.
- Torah Study will begin at 9:00 a.m. To join the conversation interactively, access Zoom HERE. You can also watch HERE on Temple Israel’s website or HERE on TI’s Facebook page.
- Thank Goodness It’s Shabbat at Home begins at 90:00 a.m. Register to join us onsite in the garden.
- At 7:30 p.m. Tisha B’Av Commemoration followed by Havdalah, jointly with Temple Sinai and Ohabei Shalom. Join us onsite at Temple Sinai, or online on Zoom.