Friday, July 7, 2017

Yishtabach: Praise


Praise the morning blessings of the Birchat HaShachar,
Praise the songs of the Pzeuki Zimra,
Praise  the Names of the Hatzi Kadish,
Praise the Infinite Eternal of the Barchu,
Praise the light and the darkness of the Yotzer.
And between and within them, Yishtabach.  Praise

Praise the sounds of praising
And praise the ones who praise.
Praise that which is being praised.
Praise the praise.
Yishtabach

What is this?
What am I doing?
Does God need praise or do I need to praise God?
What does that even mean?  
Yishtabach

What kind of ominpotent God needs praise?
I don't believe in such a frivolous God 
I don't believe in anything that needs to b e worshipped
What an insecure God to need such flattery.
Nevertheless, Yishtabach

Is it a pathetic petition to a King?
Is it placation of the jealous Torah God?
Is it worship of a tribal god? 
I hate kings and autocrats and tribes.
So really, Yishtabach?

Is it the praise or my saying of it that makes it holy? 
Does it change me for the better?
Does it make a difference to anyone at all?
Or is it empty dead ritual?
I feel a little ridiculous.
And still I say it, Yishtabach.


Yishtabach Shimkha la'ad malkeinu
These are not my words, but they belong to me.
Yishtabach Shimkha la'ad malkeinu
Praise that which is bigger than us.
Yishtabach Shimkha la'ad malkeinu
Praise the need to praise.
Amen

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