Song of the Month: Elul 5771 / September 2011

We’re entering into the month of Elul, the last month before the new year begins. It’s traditional to read Psalm 27 every day during this month, as we begin the work of teshuvah, re/turning toward God, aligning ourselves in the right direction again. (You can read my favorite translation of this psalm at my blog:

The song for this month is “Achat Sha’alti,” which means “One Thing I Ask.” The words come from Psalm 27, and they are:

Achat sha’alti me’eit Adonai, otah avakesh (2x)
Shivti b’veit Adonai, kol y’mei chayay
Lachazot b’noam, b’noam Yah, u’l’vaker b’heikhalo (2x)

One thing I ask, I ask of You, I earnestly pray for (2x)
That I might dwell in Your house all the days of my life
Knowng the beauty, the beauty of You, and to dwell in Your holy place! (2x)

Here’s a recording, which you can listen to online or can download onto your own computer:

Achat Sha’alti:

We’ll use this as our closing song on the two Shabbatot when I’m leading services this month (9/3 and 9/17), and we’ll sing it during Selichot services (the evening of Saturday, 9/24) and at other times during the Days of Awe, too.

May this melody, and these words, open your heart to the blessings of Elul and the holy unfolding of teshuvah in your life.


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