Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The text below and the music
above are both about a Jewish
 ceremony called Birkat Halevana. 
 Debbie Friedman sings the song about
the matter from a Carnegie Hall concert.
It makes interesting background music
for the read.
by Sherre Hirsch
Each month, Jews host a party for the moon.
The Jewish year is based on a lunar calendar,
 and every month we take note of the passage of time
 through the ritual of Birkat HaLevanah,
the blessing and celebration of the new moon. 
 What is surprising is when this ritual takes place.
You would think we would celebrate the full moon,
the night of romance.  We don't.  Instead we celebrate when
the moon is just a sliver in the sky and hardly noticeable.
Most times we need a flashlight even to see the blessing
on the page.
We bless the sliver because it expresses our faith in the future.
We are blessing what the moon can become. 
 It is a prayer of hope and belief and renewal. 
 Though we know that each month the moon
will wax and wane, the real purpose of this ceremony
is to remind us that we are like the moon. 
We can become new again.
We can uncover more potential and find even more
of our beauty.  As it says in the prayer,
"Blessed are you, God, who says to the moon each month,
you will be new again just like my children."
Your potential is unlimited.  Each day, God revels in you.
From the day you were born until the day you die,
God is celebrating you.
God is not celebrating how much money you have made.
God is not celebrating your job title or your house.
God is celebrating each day that you are in his world.
Each day you have the potential to imitate him:
to create, to better, to discover, to build, to repair, and to laugh.
That is God's party, a joyous celebration of each one of
his creatures discovering her or his divine purpose.
God does not stop celebrating when you are thirteen,
fifty-three, or even ninety-three.  Just like my mom never
stopped celebrating my birthday.  She still makes it a big deal,
even now.  We are God's children.  Just like we celebrate our
children and see all that they can become.  God thinks that our
best selves are always in front of us.  Whether it is your second
birthday or your seventy-second,
 God is hoping you will discover more
 about your incredible soul with each passing year.

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