I walked in a few minutes late to Shabbat morning services this past week. I flipped through the siddur to find the page, and my eyes landed on these lines:
A Song for Shabbat
It is good to acclaim the Lord,
to sing Your praise, exalted God.
to proclaim Your love each morning,
to tell of Your faithfulness each night,
to the music of the lute and the melody of the harp.
and I realized I didn't need any other words. All I had to say was there: Thank you. Please hear me. Accept my music. Later on, during the Shema, I sat in silence and tried to imagine myself with eyes closed in the company of a few hundred people at any other public space in New York City. Only in a Sanctuary full of open hearts would I do such a daring thing, and trust that my song and sighs would keep me safe while I listened for whatever God wanted me to hear.
I pray this Rosh Hashanah that only good sounds come our way, and that each of us can add to the joyful noise. (A great place to start: this wonderful music of the Jews of Uganda; scroll to the bottom of the page to hear some samples from the album.)