Sunday, May 16, 2010
Psalm for Sunday: Psalm 24, Verse 4
Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who has not raised up their soul to emptiness and has not sworn deceitfully.
This verse refers to the question in verse 3: "who may ascend God's holy mountain and stand in God's holy place?" In last week's commentary I wrote that we all have the ability to "climb God's holy mountain" and to stand in holiness. In other words, we each have the ability to be present with the Divine if we are mindful. Verse 4 gives another answer to the question, though I see it more as a further explication.
Again, each one of us has the potential. We each have holiness and Divinity within our souls. But in order to truly experience holiness in the moment we need our actions and thoughts to be "pure." I do not read this as in anyway saying that we should judge which thoughts and actions are to be labeled as "pure." Rather, I believe that most, if not all, actions can be seen as pure and holy if they are done with the intent of connecting us with the oneness of the universe and not with the intent of separating us from the Divine in the world and attempting create a duality. The verse teaches that we must each raise up our soul by acting in a way that is consonant with what the soul, the Divine within, is saying to us. We can hear this message by quieting our minds and simply paying attention with our hearts.
However, if we focus on that which is ultimately empty and vain and claim that we are doing holiness then we are "swearing deceitfully." We are deceiving ourselves by claiming that we are acting in a way that brings compassion, goodness, beauty and holiness into our world, when in actually we are simply following the ego and acting in a way that serves only ME. We are acting in a way that perpetuates the myth of separateness, of duality and the self. The ego excels in convincing us that what is actually self-centered action is instead for the betterment of the world and in service to the Divine. So watch out and pay careful attention to the true message of your soul!
By being mindful we can avoid these traps and do that which lifts up our soul to holiness and connects the soul to its source. When we act this way, then we will certainly find ourselves standing on holy ground on "God's holy mountain". And that is where we are all meant to be.
Posted by Rabbi Steven Nathan at 2:14 PM
- ► 2014 (15)
- ► 2013 (17)
- ► 2012 (28)
- ► 2011 (48)
- Psalm for Monday: Psalm 48, Verse 5
- Psalm for Sunday: Psalm 24, Vs. 5
- Poetic Commentary on Parshat Be'haalotekha
- Psalm for Thursday: Psalm 81, verse 6 (vs. 5 in Ch...
- Psalm for Wednesday: Psalm 94, verse 5
- Comentary on Parshat Naso and the Priestly Blessin...
- Psalm for Friday: Psalm 93, Verse 5
- Poem for the Festival of Shavuot (Weeks)
- Psalm for Tuesday: Psalm 82, Verse 5
- Psalm for Monday: Psalm 48, Verse 4
- Psalm for Sunday: Psalm 24, Verse 4
- Poetic Commentary on Parshat Be'Midbar
- Psalm for Friday: Psalm 93, Verse 4
- Psalm for Thursday: Psalm 81, Verse 5 (verse 4 in ...
- Psalm for Wednesday: Psalm 94, verse 4
- Psalm for Tuesday: Psalm 82, Verse 4
- Psalm for Monday: Psalm 48, verse 3
- Psalm for Sunday: Psalm 24, Verse 3
- Commentary on Parshat Behar-Behukotai
- Psalm for Friday: Psalm 93, Verse 3
- Psalm for Thursday: Psalm 81, verse 4
- Psalm for Wednesday: Psalm 94, verse 3
- Psalm for Tuesday; Psalm 82, Verse 3
- Psalm for Monday: Psalm 48, Verse 2
- Psalm for Sunday: Psalm 24, Verse 2
- ▼ May (25)
- ► 2009 (23)