STLT#392, Hineh Mah Tov

As frequent readers know. there are many days … sometimes weeks… in this practice when the hymn is so opposed to the events/mood/weather of the day that it seems almost ridiculous. Christmas in May… morning songs after the election… happy spring in a snowstorm…

Today is most assuredly NOT one of those days.

Our round, a traditional Hebrew folk round based on Psalm 133:1, names my mood and the experience here, as we enter the final few hours of our UUMA chapter retreat. The NRSV translates the verse as “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!”

And so, when someone asked what today’s hymn was, and I started singing, everyone in the room at that moment sang along with me. And it felt warm and loving and good, but most of all, it felt true. I’m so impressed with the joy, grace, and connection I’ve been experiencing with this new (to me) group of colleagues, and I’m feeling so at home among them. I know some of it’s a bit about being back in upstate New York, but a lot of it’s about being with these people. It is so good to have spent the last couple of days dwelling together with them.

Hineh mah tov umah nayim.
Shevel aheem gam yahad.
Hineh mah tov umah nayim.
Shevel aheem gam yahad.
Hineh mahtov shevet aheem gam yahad.
Hineh mahtov shevet aheem gam yahad.

How good it is and how pleasant
for people to dwell together.
How good it is and how pleasant
for people to dwell together.
Good and pleasant, people in peace together.
Good and pleasant, people in peace together.

The English verse doesn’t scan well for me, but the truth is, I never use it. There’s something just wonderful about singing this ancient psalm in its original language together.

Anyway – I need to spend more time with my colleagues. Enjoy your day, because I know I am!

 

One Comment

  1. I’m so happy to hear about your feeling of immediate connection with your new colleagues. At age 74, after 37 years of building relationships with colleagues, I can say that this will be part of the story of your life from now on. May it be a source of comfort and support for you as it has been with me!

Leave a Reply