21 November 2010

50 x 3 = 150. The End.

Sometime in the spring I came across a small collection of Psalms, published in Berlin in 1906, and compiled by a Haskalah Movement scholar named Meir Halevi Leteris.  There are places and times I would have liked to see in their glory and Berlin at the turn of the century is one such place.  I have spent the last several months carrying this small volume around with me, serving as a muse, a source of inspiration for my 150 Psalms Project, now complete.

The experience of reading three psalms a day, and writing about them publicly, has been deeper than I would have expected.  In my naivete, I was searching for an encounter with lost ancient poetry; and I wanted to get in the ring with a radical Biblical theology that would challenge the soft underbelly of contemporary Jewish thought and its "concern" for the "self."   The psalms were more than willing, if one can detect a will, to engage in this sport.  But the journey of the soul was another matter entirely and I will admit to having gone through numerous ups and downs in the last fifty days, sometimes feeling as though I was in the grip of an Eternal Language which, like Jacob's angel, has left me newly named and with a limp.  But the new name is an old name and the old limp is a new limp--so who knows?

I can only compare it to walking off a basketball court as a young man--maybe a broken finger one night; a few stitches another; the future down-payment on back trouble years ahead, prefigured in my careful stepping off the wood and into the locker-room.

Exhausted, enlivened, and ready to do it all over again.


EK said...

And now for something completely different...

Thanks for these Psalms and the blog in general. It's nice to be able to click a few buttons on my computer in the middle of the work day and read something to bring back into focus the things that really matter in the midst of all else in the present age.

While I may not agree with everything you write, your messages about responsibility, community, tradition, and especially the Biblical teachings have been inspiring.

Best wishes in to you in the future and I look forward to many more posts.

louise crawford said...

Congratulations on the completion of this really cool and interesting project. I've followed along and read many of your 150 posts. Thanks.

Angie said...

mazal tov - what a wonderful thing to have dedicated yourself to. You (and we) are the richer for it. May you go from strength to strength.