High Holy Days Journey with Amichai Lau-Lavie: 40 ways in 40 days to find your focus



Yesterday I played Y. a song from the Song of Songs, a haunting rendition, on my itunes, from a faraway land and time, a perfect expression of a moment that could not yet be spoken.


This morning, rehearsing for Yom Kippur with the beautiful circle of musicians, we practiced singing the prayers and songs, and a few times the rehearsal became the ritual itself – the intensity of prayer, of presence, of full on singing.  The songs – the music – of this season of return contain so much of the mystery, the elegance of the essence of this intention to focus, find focus, go within.


The songs we listen to and sing are the containers of so much vital information to our souls, and to our soul’s journey.


There’s something so intimate about singing, especially when we sing together – in small or bigger groups, any song in the world. Sing-along’s and campfires, Sabbath tables, rock concerts, car rides with the kids, rallies, piano bars, late night parties, Yom Kippur, happy birthday.


Sing more this year.


Tonight at the first monthly storahcircle salon series this season, friends gather in M’s beautiful home in Greenwich Village, to delve into saga and story, learning Talmudic tales of King David’s struggle with the Deep. The power of singing, we discovered, is what helps the king to battle the flood and the drought of his existence: he sings, as life crumbles, one by one, 15 Songs of Ascent, and with each song he, and we, climb a step up, towards survival –revival, a restoration of presence, balance, being.

Sounds esoteric, I know. It’s a gorgeous complex myth but one of the gists there is the power of singing to restore balance in one’s world.

So yes to singing more. Silly or solemn, or both and more: The commitment to sing out loud the words and tunes that carry us beyond drought and flood and overwhelming sensations, even if we are off key and can’t carry a tune, and touch and move us in ways very few other human actions can.  This coming Yom Kippur and all year round: here’s to more singing.


Day 38 9.16 Focus