Song for the month of Cheshvan: Mah Gadlu

The lunar month of Cheshvan begins tomorrow night.

Cheshvan is a rare thing on the Jewish calendar: an entire month without any holidays at all (except, of course, for Shabbat.) Especially after the whirlwind of the Days of Awe, this can feel either like a relief or like a let-down. The rabbis called this month Mar-Cheshvan — “Bitter Cheshvan” — because it contains no holidays. But Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, may his memory be a blessing, used to reverse the word Mar into Ram, which means “elevated.” This can be an elevated month, a high and holy month for us, even without special celebrations.

Our Song for the Month this month is a setting of one line of Psalm 92. The melody is by Rabbi Shefa Gold, and can be found on her cd Chants Encounter. Here it is:

Mah Gadlu

part 1: Hallelujah, hallelujah

Part 2: Mah gadlu ma’asecha Yah, me’od amku machshevotecha!

(Translation: How great are Your works, God; Your thoughts are very deep!)

If you can’t see the embedded audio player, you can go directly to the recording or download it from

We’ll sing this during our Family Shabbat service / special Shabbat honoring 30-year members at CBI this coming Saturday, and will sing it at other Shabbat morning services during this month as well.

Wishing you a sweet month of Cheshvan!

Reb Rachel

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