On Psalms

People ask why I like to recite psalms - the original prayer. Not only are these the original song lyrics, a framework for praising, asking, beseeching the Divine above and connecting with the Divine within us, but they are the international, everlasting framework of prayer for so many.

When we recite, chant, sing psalms, we connect with our ancestors who cried over these same words for thousands of years; and we connect with others around the world doing the same, to unite our voices in one song and create the ripples that can activate real change in this world. As our brothers and sisters are in danger across the seas in Israel, let's lift our voices to remember what connected us all in the first place, and ask the One above to bring safety to our land.

"In you our fathers trusted, they trusted and You delivered them. They cried to You, and escaped - in You they trusted, and they were not ashamed." - Psalm 22.

HaNerot Hallalu - These Lights

These lights

These lights within

We kindle

We dig deep and reach inside

And light them up with a spark

We find that little piece of us that doesn’t want to be a jerk

And we go for a walk in the park, or to play with a puppy

Or to watch a sunset, ignore consumerist calls of “Yuppie!”


We’ve been delivered.

We’ve been saved.

It’s a miracle, innit?


These lights

These sparks

These candles

These oil and wick and flame little packages of love

That we fuel and fire and cultivate and inspire

With our love and compassion and desire

To do better, to reach higher

Higher and higher


It’s a deliverance

It’s a relief

It’s a wonder

It’s a miracle, really

It’s a neverending battle but a victory

that’s been won


That’s been done for us as has been done many times before

It’s happened to every human as far back as ancient lore

Our fathers, our mothers, our great great grandsisterbrotherfathermothers

In those days, the days that are, the days that were and the days that will be

The days that happened once and happen over and over, now included

The days that are yet to come, sealed in the future, projected, not excluded

In those days, in these days

All the days together

Happening over and over

No matter the weather

Through the priests and the priestesses

The warriors of light

Executors of all that is good

Carriers of might

The person standing to your left or right

Who helps you see the good inside

The priest is you, the priest could be me

But the holy workers who help us see

What’s good lives within, and all it takes is to just



Throughout the days of Chanukah

The darkest days of night

The whole miserable winter

These eight candles bring us light

The sanctity of within

It keeps flickering outside


And for our entire natural existence

plus one, the One that doesn’t Hide

the lights are holy

they’re sanct with the sweat

of the struggle and the fight

to shine what’s bright

in every respect

they’re not to use

to leverage or choose

to utilize

to optimize

to keep them handily creative

there’s no cost benefit factor

they’re purely decorative


a light, to shine, to illuminate heart and mind

to see, to gaze, to stare into the souls

of the lights

and see what you’ll find



to thank

to acknowledge

to express

to speak with gratitude of the miracle

the God-given Nes


the fact that even in the times

that are darkest of night

there’s always that little fuel reserve

the tiny jar of oil

that gives us God-given light


so when you know you’re not exactly

the person you want to be

when your soul is kinda struggling

because it’s getting foggy

and hard to see

find the lights, light them up

remember there’s one inside you too

it’s so holy, seriously

atheist, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Jew


whatever we are, we all possess divine light

and when we light them up on Chanukah

we get a little respite

from that constant digging, that need to elevate

to scrape away the dark and dust

and with a candle, illuminate

but on these holy days we have no

no need to light a candle

or borrow a propane lamp or even

build a fire that’s lots to handle


on Chanukah we reach within

we find the holy lights

we light them up and watch them last

for eight dark days and nights


we use the fuel that lasts all week

to propel us through the year

and with these holy lights we can

bring joy to all those dear


we remember the soul that was once within

the one who’s always free of sin

who wants to laugh and love and pray

and play in the park and paint pictures all day

who knows that money’s not the trick

or working all day, or making ads click

and find ways to engage it, before the day’s done

and unite with the fire within, facing the sun


it’s not the kind of light you use

to make things fancy and bright

sometimes we have dark crevices

and they’re not so pretty in the daylight

find the corner, find the nook, shine your own little candle within

it came from dark, it knows how to spark

no matter what the sin

sometimes its real dark, you can’t find a match

but little did you know, your soul came with a catch

it’s got deep inside the spark of flint or coal

that’ll never go out, it’s a standard feature of soul

so when you do little things, start to shift and turn

it’ll catch on real tight and flicker til it burns

so we praise and we thank

and we acknowledge the truth

that miracles can happen, we’re all living proof

when we state out loud that the light’s there within

it catches and sparks and ignites and then


the light’s up and at it

the entire world

is feeling ecstatic


the solstice is over, the healing’s begun

and in this brightly lit world

covered in love, filled with fun

the darkness is lessened

the blackness is gone

and even the dark corners

are singing the song


so shine on, candlesticks

matches, tapers, wicks

flintstones, coals, Bic lighters

battery powered coiled vaporizers

find a torch, find a light, find anything in sight

and shine on, shine on,

glow glow glow

because when there’s light you always

know which direction to go.