“The Musician’s Psalm” is a name for Psalm 150 due to the nine instruments presented as the orchestra of Divine praise. In the final verse, the 2,527th of the whole of Psalms, two words point to the tenth instrument, us. “Kol ha’nishama” has multiple possible meanings- let all souls; let all the soul; let each breath- “praise Yah.” This exuberant culmination is a call for us to praise the Source of creation.
We are invited to hear the whole of living creation unified; and our inner selves evoking our deepest truth of God’s goodness; with the awareness that each breath is the rhythmic gift of life, normally received unconsciously and now consciously an act of praise. In the words of Rabbi Benjamin Segal, “The musical emphasis…seems to say that ultimately God’s greatness goes beyond words and can only find full expression in or with music.”
Our honoree for this our final Psalm learning is Craig Taubman. On Shabbat at CBI we regularly sing Craig’s musical compositions for our sacred text. Music is an essential component of praise and I am grateful that Craig will participate in this celebration of our sixteen-month journey through Psalms.
Please know that the siyyum, the finale of “The Psalm Project,” is next week with a public interview on Tuesday at 9:30am of Rabbi Benjamin Segal of Jerusalem, whose literary commentary helped open up for me the Psalms as literary gems, and on Wednesday at 9:30, my reflections on what I have learned from Psalms, which is dedicated to all those who have shared in the learning.
Musical Selections of Psalm 150:
MIQEDEM- Distinctive Sefardic Sound- Click here to listen
R. Levi Kelman- recording of last line, melody taken from Taize’s Michael Praetorius-Click here to listen
Navah Tehillah- chant of last line- Click here to listen
Joey Weisenberg- chant of last line- Click here to listen