It’s a traditional practice to read Psalm 27 each day during the month of Elul. Once that may have meant reading the same words the same way as every other Jew. Now, we have a plethora of translations and interpretations to choose from along with the original Hebrew. To really bring this practice to life, try using four different translations/interpretations and speak the words aloud each day. Each week use a different one, and record your thoughts and feelings each day to see how your response changes to each daily, and over the course of the month. Even if Shacharit (morning prayers) aren’t currently part of your spiritual practice, give this a try for the month.
Questions to think about:
- Mouth: How does it feel to say the words differently? What phrases, if any, did you trip over? What phrases did you relish more? Which did you enjoy speaking and which didn’t you?
- Mind: What thoughts does the translation trigger? Did any points cause your inner censor to try and stop you? Did any points cause your inner voice to cry out with joy?
- Spirit / Heart: How did the translation make you feel? Did you experience any unexpected emotions while reading it?
- Body: Did you notice any physical physical responses? Did you feel heavier or lighter in your heart? Did your shoulders or neck tense or release? Did you find a desire to move with the words? If so, what movements were you inspired to do?
For a listing of different versions of Psalm 27, see the posting on Ketzirah’s website, www.peelapom.com.
Carly Lesser (a.k.a. Ketzirah – קצירה
) is Kohenet, Celebrant and Artist whose passion is helping Jews who are unaffiliated, earth-based or in interfaith / inter-denominational relationships connect more deeply with Judaism and make it relevant in their every day lives. She is an active blogger and prayer leader on OneShul.org and PeelaPom.com.