Psalm 92: A Song for Shabbat

Found In: Friday Evening, Saturday

Shira Niamh Brisman | Poem

How good it is to sing praises in God’s name
To declare loving kindness in the morning
And faithfulness by night!

These were the words sung
By Adam and Eve after the first night
When darkness descended
Without warning or explanation
When they felt certainties
Slipping away and fearfulness
Encroaching on their dreams

But in the morning dawn broke
And in gratitude they sang
This song in amazement
As they awoke to find
They were in the garden
On the first Sabbath day

Soon they would learn
The full glories of God’s garden

And the work to be done—
The trimming back of wild
Thoughts that mistake
Another’s silence for abandonment;
The pruning of the myth
That we do not have a choice;
The weeding of overgrown
Traditions that need to be plucked—
All this they would learn;
But for now a day of rest

Let this be my song for Shabbat:
May the righteous flourish like a palm tree
Grow like a cedar of Lebanon
In the house of God
We shall flourish
We shall bear fruit
Even in old age
Always vigorous and sturdy
As we sing:
To seek godliness is just
Let it be my rock
Let me do no wrong.


This piece was written for the West End Synagogue on-going Innovative Liturgy Project.  Original pieces and reconstructed  prayers have been written for the High Holy Days, Shabbat, and also for more specific projects such as "psalms", "peace" and the "middah of the month".