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You transformed my mourning into dancing

08/05/2020 09:00:52 PM


Rabbi Jeffrey Myers

I’m sitting amid Tropical Storm Isaias as the power went out at 11:15AM, yet my unbridled joy has not lessened, for this past Sunday I performed the wedding of my daughter. As a Rabbi and Hazzan, it is the ultimate privilege and joy to officiate at the wedding of your child.  I’m surprised that I held it together as well as I did. When I saw my daughter walk out for the first time, I almost lost it. 

Since 10.27 I have laughed, joked, smiled and shared happy moments, but this level of joy I have not experienced.  Indeed, as the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 23: You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.  My gratitude to God for this joy in my life is boundless. My gratitude to my daughter and son-in-law for bringing such joy to my life is endless. 

I realize that some might have heard this remark at the wedding, but I think that it bears repeating. The daily morning service is an anthology of selections, especially the introductory sections. Some of the selections are Psalms. For those who know me or have read my writings, I frequently refer to the Psalms, as they cover a broad range of human emotions and experiences. One of the Psalms in the early part of the morning service is Psalm 30.  It concludes with this verse: You transformed my mourning into dancing, my sackcloth into robes of joy - that I might sing your praise unceasingly, that I might thank you, my God, forever.

I have been unable to recite this verse in my daily prayers since 10.27.  My mourning had not yet ceased.  The day of my daughter’s wedding my mourning ceased, and so did my self-description.  I no longer a victim; I am a survivor.  My daughter and son-in-law transformed my mourning into dancing, my sackcloth into robes of joy.  My heart is overwhelmed with joy.  I can now resume reciting the last verse of Psalm 30.  I thank you, my God, unceasingly, for being with me to move me along in my healing. 

Will I ever be totally healed?  I don’t think so.  I will always be healing. There will be reminders of 10.27 around me forever, such as the first commemoration of the massacre in El Paso.  What I choose to do with these reminders is part of my healing, by acknowledging them and integrating them into my being. But today I am joyous, and I thank my God for the privilege of feeling this way. 

Tue, September 29 2020 11 Tishrei 5781