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Norman Fischer
article - July 29, 2020
Buddhist teacher and poet Norman Fischer reflects on Psalm 137 and his journey to writing Opening to You.
Jeremy Benstein
article - July 29, 2020
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, and there we wept…” are not originally a reggae song. They weren’t written by the Melodians’ Brent Dowe and Trevor McNaughton. They are right there in Psalm 137!
Yochai Greenfeld
video - July 27, 2020
A movement piece honoring the remembrance of Jerusalem and its importance to the Jewish experience. We hear Jerusalem when we hear the waters.
Rev. Dr. Leslie Callahan
article - July 27, 2020
The complex emotions of exilic texts mirror my own complicated relationship with the United States—the way that I am aware on a cellular level that this place is simultaneously both home and not home.
BETTY
video - July 27, 2020
The popular band BETTY performs "Waters of Babylon," a musical piece inspired by Psalm 137.
Andrew R. Davis, PhD
article - July 27, 2020
Introduction to Psalm 137, Hebrew and English Texts, and Questions for Reflection.
Irvin Scott
article - July 24, 2020
Using a metaphor of a spirited deer looking to quench its thirst, Psalms 42 opens with a deep sense of anticipation and hopefulness. It is not an ordinary thirst, but one that can only be satisfied by a supernatural river of water that never runs dry
Gaya Aranoff Bernstein
article - July 24, 2020
"like a parched doe near a cool stream I thirst for the essence of You Your water O my living God I yearn to know You"
Rabbi Shai Held
article - July 21, 2020
"Instead, the psalm evokes the reality that the conversation between hope and despair is never fully and finally resolved. If you’ve ever had the experience of bucking yourself up, lifting your sagging spirit one moment, and then sinking back into.."
Simon Peter Davis
article - July 21, 2020
Both paintings are part of a larger collection entitled “Psalms of The Sea – Waterfalls,” which are contemporary fine art/abstract paintings seeking to capture the raw power and surging energy of the sea.
Francis X. Clooney, SJ
article - July 20, 2020
This lovely Psalm is a favorite for many of us, I suspect, because it is a simple, heartfelt, and plaintive cry in a time of trouble while also providing consolation. It has always been a particular favorite of mine, with its yearning mingled with...
Rabbi Shefa Gold
article - July 20, 2020
In the light of day and all that we do, God’s love is called forth through us and through all of Creation. Then at night, the Divine song reverberates in the stillness, surrounding us and holding us in a tender embrace. This is a chant of remembrance
Andrew R. Davis, PhD
article - July 20, 2020
"The most astounding aspect of the psalms’ refrain is not its structuring effect, however. Rather, it is the unique anthropology it expresses. The Hebrew word nepeš, which I left untranslated above, is best rendered “life.”
Carol Rose
article - July 16, 2020
During this time of pandemic, misinformation, and social upheaval, I find myself reading, interpreting, and applying the words of the Psalms (or their sentiments) in familiar and new ways. Some of these words serve as clear reminders of the timeless"
Alicia Ostriker
article - July 16, 2020
Before responding to the questions posed to me, I need to be clear about my equivocal relationship to the psalms as a woman for whom “God” is a metaphor, but a metaphor I recognize as having immense power over...
Yoni Avi Battat
video - July 15, 2020
Yoni Avi Battat performs a powerful and entertaining piece based on Psalm 114.
Ruth Messinger with Or Rose
article - July 15, 2020
Ruth Messinger and Or Rose expound on Psalm 114 by putting it in conversation with the story of Exodus... "One of the key messages of this brief text is that the natural world was intimately involved in this epic tale of liberation..."
Rev. Dr. Shively T.J. Smith
article - July 13, 2020
When Reverend Doctor Shively T. J. Smith reads the opening stanza of Ps. 114 she hears, sees, and feels many things. Explore the Psalm with her.
Micah Shapiro & Aaren Alpert
video - July 13, 2020
Rabbi Micah Shapiro performs '​He-harim (The Mountains)' with words from Psalm 114:3-4.
Andrew R. Davis
article - July 13, 2020
"Some of my favorite poetry in the Hebrew Bible are verses that feature the personification of the natural world". In Ps. 114 "the speaker addresses the sea, mountain, hills, and earth as interlocutors."
Maya Bernstein
article - July 10, 2020
"These verses echoed through my head as I navigated the experience of chemotherapy. I wanted to explore the hope of faith, the hope for salvation, even in the face of feelings of hopelessness."
Richard Chess
video - July 10, 2020
"Psalm 121 is a song of ascents. I started to sense a direction. I could hear, faintly, a voice. I listened; I received; I wrote."
Neshama Carlebach & SHEVA
video - July 8, 2020
Neshama Carlebach, one of today’s best-selling Jewish artists in the world, collaborates with Green Pastures Baptist Church Choir to perform Heaven and Earth. SHEVA, interfaith world music ensemble, perform Ps. 121.
Doug Pagitt
video - July 8, 2020
Rev. Doug Pagitt, pastor from Minneapolis, brings us a powerful video reflection on Ps. 121 from the street where George Floyd was murdered, and what it teaches us about our obligation to "act in ways that are holy".
Jackie Olenick
article - July 6, 2020
Artist, Jackie Olenick, offers a beautiful visual art reflection of Psalm 121.
Abrigal Forrester
article - July 6, 2020
"There are so many images in our sacred texts of great souls taking refuge in mountain clefts, caves, or other quiet places for meditation and reflection. Prophetic figures like Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) all did this in the mids
Andrew R. Davis
article - July 6, 2020
In my study of biblical Hebrew, one of my assignments was to memorize and recite Psalm 121. I can’t remember what grade I received, but I do remember the consolation that came with internalizing Psalm 121’s assurance of God’s help and protection.
Rabbi Minna Bromberg
video - July 2, 2020
Rabbi Minna Bromberg, PhD, performs an original piece about Psalm 139 that is inspired by a true story of a young Jewish woman trying to find her place and purpose in the world.
Alicia Jo Rabins
article - July 2, 2020
What is it to be known? Known, all of me: the one hundred- Thousand-mile map of my veins, Prayers I will whisper in a hospital Room in twenty years, distant strip-mall  Corners where my teenaged past-self hid...
Deborah Feinstein
article - July 1, 2020
In my pastel drawing, you see two trees as a metaphor of the intimate relationship between G-d and Man. Relating to Psalm 139, G-d’s overwhelming presence is everywhere. This large tree is connected to the earth, the air, and the sky.
Howard Thurman & Or Rose
article - July 1, 2020
Rabbi Or Rose introduces an audio recording of Rev. Howard Thurman, the renowned theologian, educator, and preacher, reciting and speaking about his love for Psalm 139.
Roly Matalon & Ismail Lumanovski
video - June 30, 2020
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon performs a traditional Iraqi melody "Ana Elech," based on Piyut (devotional poem) by 16th century poet Israel Najara, with accompaniment by Ismail Lumanovski.
Reverend James Martin
article - June 29, 2020
Rev. James Martin shares his professional and spiritual experience with Psalm 139.
Andrew R. Davis, PhD
article - June 29, 2020
"Overall, the psalm recognizes God’s omnipotence and omniscience, but does the psalmist have mixed feelings about this divine power and presence? The first half of Psalm 139 seems to depict this power as intimidating and even overbearing..."
Ted Ewing
article - June 25, 2020
The poet’s proclamation of the majesty of God ensures that humanity possesses both an insignificant appearance and a magnificent appointment. That is the message of Psalm 8.
Norman Fischer
article - June 25, 2020
"Your Unsayable Name: it covers all the earth And your presence extends ever outward From the furthest conceivable point"
Lauren Stevens
article - June 24, 2020
A sketch and copper etching by artist Lauren Stevens.
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld
article - June 24, 2020
Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld moves through Psalm 8, offering deep and poetic meditations, reflecting on the relationship between God, humanity, and all of creation.
Ibrahim Abdul-Matin
article - June 22, 2020
"But as we witness the tearing down of these modern idols, we also need to ask what comes next. Can we imagine a new national landscape that is more just, more compassionate, and more sustainable?"
Multiple Artists
video - June 22, 2020
Three performances by Poor Bishop Hooper, Elvis Presley, and Carrie Underwood.
Andrew R. Davis, PhD
article - June 22, 2020
Andrew Davis offers an illuminating introduction of Psalm 8.
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield
video - June 18, 2020
Rabbi Brad Hirschfield offers a powerful teaching on Psalm 133.
Alondra Bobadilla
video - June 18, 2020
Alondra Bobadilla, Boston Youth Poet Laureate, performs a moving original piece on the theme of Psalm 133 "loving-kindness."
Simran Jeet Singh
article - June 17, 2020
I read this psalm for the first time while marchers walked by my apartment building, shouting the same words that have been echoing throughout my city: “No Justice. No Peace.”
Michael Knopf & Corey D.B. Walker
article - June 16, 2020
The signs are ubiquitous. Liberty trail. Slave trail. Museum of the Confederacy. Virginia Holocaust Museum. Gilpin Court. Ginter Park. The contradictions of community are the substance of everyday life in our city.
Multiple Artists
video - June 16, 2020
Three performances by Harry Belafonte, Abayudaya Jewish community of Uganda, and Chœur de Radio France.
Sharon Saltzberg
article - June 15, 2020
Many of us think of loving kindness as a kind of weakness: sentimental, conflict avoidant, sort of meek. But actually, it is a tremendous strength.
Dr. Jennifer Howe Peace
article - June 15, 2020
The psalmist’s vision of unity, in which people dwell together as siblings, safe and secure, is not easy to hold even in the best of times. During a global pandemic and in the midst of an uprising, it seems almost naive.
Andrew R. Davis, PhD
article - June 15, 2020
While much of this psalm’s excellence lies in its aesthetic beauty, we should not overlook the ethical thrust that frames it. The first line emphasizes the importance of solidarity among brothers and sisters,even (or especially) in times of division.
Danny Maseng
video - June 9, 2020
Chazzan & spiritual leader, Danny Maseng performs Adonai Roi ("God is my Shepherd").
Lauren Stevens
article - June 9, 2020
Lauren Stevens has produced a copper plate etching reflecting "the relationship between the Shepherd and the sheep in the psalm."
Bobby McFerrin
video - June 9, 2020
Bobby McFerrin sings his beautiful '23rd Psalm' - he explains "I wrote it because I'd been reading the Bible one morning, and I was thinking about God's unconditional love, about how we crave it but have so much trouble believing we can trust it, and
Marilyn Nelson
article - June 8, 2020
Award winning poet, Marilyn Nelson, offers a poetic meditation on Psalm 23 - "The trust it expresses seems especially encouraging just now, as we pray our way through this pandemic and the centuries-old plague of racism and brutality in this country.
Debra Band
article - June 8, 2020
Debra Band shares beautiful illuminations of Psalm 23, studying "twin themes in this most beloved of psalms: “The valley of the shadow of death” and the omnipotent, divine Lover laying out a feast for the trusting seeker."
Gaya Aranoff Bernstein
article - June 8, 2020
"I wrote Psalmsongs during a time in my life when the Book of Psalms (Sefer Tehillim) was all I could read. I sat in waiting rooms while procedures and imaging and surgeries were taking place, and I read psalms."
Katherine Gergen Barnett
article - June 8, 2020
"No valley of darkness prepared me (or any of us) for the deep darkness of Covid-19.....we still feel the long shadow of death breathing down our necks, we no longer turn away in fear, but rather toward it as an invitation to wake up."
Rev. Brian McLaren
article - June 8, 2020
An interview with Rev. Brian McLaren about Psalm 23 and the role it has played in his spiritual journey.
Andrew Davis
article - June 8, 2020
Psalm 23 functions on several levels – as a reminder of Israel’s national story of liberation, as a soundtrack for ancient pilgrims to the Temple, and as an assurance of God’s pastoral care for those who pray with the psalm today.
Drew Drake
video - June 8, 2020
Actor, Drew Drake, performs his poem "Searching My Rage".
Marty Lamar
video - June 5, 2020
Marty Austin Lamar performs "Like Rain" - a lament in response to the unfolding global pandemic and upheaval over racial injustice.
Ruth Feldman
article - June 5, 2020
Dr. Ruth Pinkenson Feldman introduces us to her 'visual translation of the psalmist's cry' and says 'I pray that all those who are hurting in this difficult time are also heard.'
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum
article - June 4, 2020
Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum writes about the power of teaching and engaging the Psalms communally during several crises in her life and the world, including the HIV/AIDS crisis, personal health crisis, and the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Joel Lohr & Joel Kaminsky
article - June 4, 2020
"To add to this, in recent days our attention has been drawn to instances of racial injustice, leaving many of us calling out the Psalmist’s words: “How long, O Lord?” or “You have made us like sheep for slaughter” (Psalm 13)."
Paul Quenon
article - June 4, 2020
After many years, the psalms have become so familiar that I take them for granted and sometimes fail to hear them. But with persistent attention there comes a new opening where the heart and mind stand behind the words and become my own.
Ellen F. Davis
article - June 3, 2020
"Why the Psalms?" "Why Now?" Ellen Davis, Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology at Duke University, answers why engaging the Psalms is apropos for the world's global crisis.
Or Rose & Paul Raushenbush
article - June 2, 2020
Rabbi Or Rose & Rev. Paul Raushenbush introduce PsalmSeason, a new interreligious initiative by a diverse group of religious leaders, cultural critics, musicians, poets, artists, and activists that explores the Psalms, bearing witness to its power.

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