Pinchas: Mountain Prayer at Twilight
The death of Moses is foretold in this week’s parasha, Pinchas. When the time comes, Moses will ascend yet another mountain, see the land that he cannot enter and die. Unlike his visits up Sinai, when his physical vision is shrouded in the cloud of G-d, Moses will see the inheritance of the people Israel. I imagine a moment near dusk, as he continues to take in the beauty of the land, knowing that he will not see the new day. This prayer uses a time-honored tradition in Jewish liturgy, incorporating relevant quotes from Psalms. It also incorporates a quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech. Quotes are shown in italics, with references in (parenthesis).
Mountain Prayer at Twilight
This yearning of cliffs and crests,
This longing of ridges and heights,
The hint of eternity,
The poetry in rock,
Stretches from horizon to horizon,
Beyond the limits of this world.
Power. Thunder. Silence.
How glorious are the peaks at dusk?
How majestic at twilight?
The heights of the mountains are G-d’s. (Psalms 95:4)
I just want to do God’s will.
And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I’ve looked over.
And I’ve seen the Promised Land. (Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.)
The mountains skipped like rams,
The hills like young sheep. (Psalms 114:4)
This echo of infinity,
The music of transcendence,
The steadfast power,
Summons us home.
Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of G-d. (Psalms 114:7)
Let it be for shelter.
The coming daybreak,
Let it be for hope, for dedication, for renewal.
Let the mountains bear peace to the people,
And the hills, through righteousness. (Psalms 72:3)
© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: My other prayers that use mountains as images include: “The Mountain of My Heart,” “The Soldiers on this Mountain,” “About Miracles,” “Summon My Heart” and “Come Walk.”
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Photo Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library