Psalm 117

“Steadfast love overwhelms us.” (117:2)

At the end of a celebration of my 18th year as rabbi of my synagogue, the cantor asked me to stand in the middle of the center aisle of the sanctuary. He then asked the congregation to stand around me in concentric circles so they could either put their hands on my shoulders or on the shoulders of someone else who was connected to me. After the entire group was physically attached in this way, he led them in the Priestly blessing from Numbers, “May Adonai bless you and protect you ….” I was overwhelmed by the power of the congregation’s love.

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