Do you have those days when you just don’t know what to do, where you are just confused beyond words with all the roiling inside of you or by the circumstances besetting you? Yup, I have those days too. And am re-posting this because seems I’m having one again…
There is a verse in Tehillim [Psalms:55:7] where King David, beset by challenges, cries out, “mee yee’tayn lee ever kayonah, Uh’oofa V’eshkohna – who will give me limb/wings like a dove; I would take to wing and I would rest.” Well, which is it, Holy Psalmster? To fly or to rest?! The Malbim comments that Dovid was feeling so beset he didn’t know what to do, run and hide, stand up and fight, fly away, crumble? Rabbi Yehuda Ha’chassid sees this line differently. He says what is being said is that Dovid states he wants to be like a dove, able to do both simultaneously, spread out one wing in flight, whilst the other rests. A dove can rest even as one wing moves it through the air.
In the Gemara (Brachot 53a) we are taught that the Jews are compared to the dove, for just as the dove is saved by its wings, the Jews are saved with Mitzvos. The thing that gets us to soar is our actions of doing the Mitzvot that G-d commanded. It moves us beyond gravity, to soar above physicality.
And, yet, even as we do it, sometimes we are so beset by challenges and turmoil, from within, from without. We want to rest, we want to run, we want to hide out in our coat closet.
Ah, but Rabbi Yehuda Ha’chassid is so reassuring, Even one wing beating will keep us aloft. So we’re having one of those slow days of hiding out, as long as we keep one wing fluttering, we’re still airborne and spiritual.
Which lets me jump to verse 23 of the same chapter in Tehillim, where Dovid realizes “throw your burden on G-d and He will sustain you”. One wing tattered and bruised, but still beating, still trying to do the right thing, getting up and davening, thanking Hashem for our food, doing the day-to-day routine, and still not fully there…but its okay, for, at the end of the day, G-d carries me forward.
And two songs that seem to fit my musings:
One is sung by a duo that were new to me – I had never heard about Hamadregot before, but wow, did I like the fact that I’d found them. They sing the words from this Psalm in this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGcZHQxA6UM&feature=related
And this, by Shuli Rand http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32rB20Cx6J0&feature=related