Thursday, May 29, 2008

683. Names

I'm chanting my favorite list on Shabbat (and this morning, too). I've chanted many lists; most do not give me great joy. I've read about kosher animals, skin diseases, sins, sacrifices, and more kosher animals (repeated at least twice in different books of the Torah; God must really be serious about this one). But I like reading the names of the tribes who set out in the wilderness, bemidbar. That they made it from one edge of the dusty desert to the other (whether historically or in myth, no matter) and (biologically or spiritually) became my progenitors is reason enough to recall their names thousands of years after the fact. I always feel like like I'm shaking their hands and offering awed congratulations whenever I read this particular list.

I've chanted this aliyah, and the very beginning of the book of Bemidbar, three times in past years. This makes the third book of the Torah I've begun since Simhat Torah; maybe I'll fill in the other two when this triennial cycle rolls around again in 2010. Why the start of this one so often and never Vayikra or Devarim? Same reason I've yet to sing "Hazak, hazak!" and end anything: who knows. (Nor am I concerned. The middles of all these books are quite satisfying.)


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

I would love to witness the beauty of your vocie chanting the torah. WOW!

Everytime I come over here, I feel so inspired and so peaceful.

Keep chanting and one day I will have the pleasure of hearing you.

My heart already does (smile)

alto artist said...

Thank you so much for these words, and the strength yours always give me! (And if ever you're in NYC on a Sat. morning, I would be honored for you to come by and listen!)