Rabbi James Stone Goodman

Rabbi James Stone Goodman

 
Since the day after the first Presidential debate, Susan [Talve] and I have been teaching, talking, and singing Psalms each morning, six days a week. 
 
We were so dispirited the night of the debate that we looked at each other and said: “We have to do something.”
“Let’s do the Psalms,” Susan said. What a concept, do something we know. 
 
The next morning, September 30, 2020, we started with Psalm 1. 
The first word is Ashrei, translated by our favorite commentator as having a sense of looking up. So we began calling it T’ilim on the Ceiling.” 
T’ilim is our familiar word for Tehillim, the book of Psalms: praises.
 
We’ve learned a lot from encountering the Psalms in this way.
 
We’ve learned to look up: better days coming. 
 
We’ve learned when we feel stuck: learn something new.
 
We've learned to sing, to pour our hearts like water
 
We've learned that there is a place in many of the psalms that I call a "pivot" where something begins to change. Sometimes dramatically, sometimes methodically, but something consequential changes for the better. 
 
I think that’s where we are in our country. We have been stuck, we have come to a pivot, and if we’re conscientious, the change will be dramatic.
 
Does anybody doubt what we had to learn? We will take that learning into our next phase.