Psalms as Prayer

Psalms as a spiritual reservoir in difficult times

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Conversation: In time, as certain words or phrases from Psalms become especially meaningful to you, consider weaving them into your speech, so that the ancient words bolster your ability to heal and integrate.

Mention must be made of "the psalmist in you." Readers may be familiar with the remarkable writings of Debbie Perlman, Psalmist-in-Residence of Beth Emet The Free Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois. Through her various challenges in life, Debbie has blessed us all by turning pen to paper and creating contemporary psalms that bridge the tradition with an intimate, first person, contemporary voice. Her most recent book is called Flames to Heaven: New Psalms for Healing and Praise.

The strength of Psalms lies substantially in you--in what the reader brings to the words and infuses in them. Psalms are a container for our fears and hopes, a catalyst for the freeing up, and offering up, of our profound and deep-set wishes, prayers, desires, and insights.

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Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub

Rabbi Simkha Y. Weintraub, CSW, is the Rabbinic Director of the National Center for Jewish Healing and the New York Jewish Healing Center.