tagged: Psychopomp

 

בַּת־אָשֵׁר | Seraḥ bat Asher, a Havdalah Song by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer

Some communities have a practice of singing a song about Miriam alongside the well-known Havdalah song about Elijah the Prophet. But Miriam isn’t really a parallel to Elijah — she’s a parallel to Moshe and Aaron. When we’re talking about distaff counterparts to Elijah the clearest example is Seraḥ bat Asher. Seraḥ, the daughter of Asher, is mentioned only a handful of times in the Tanakh, but is given great significance in the midrash. Like Elijah, she is said to have never died but entered Paradise alive, and comes around to the rabbis to give advice or teachings. This song, which includes several references to midrashim about Seraḥ, is meant to be sung to any traditional tune of “Eliyahu haNavi.” It is dedicated to Ḥazzan Joanna Selznick Dulkin (shlit”a), who introduced me to the legends of Seraḥ bat Asher. . . .

שתי כוסות, לאליהו ומרים | Two Cups: Elijah and Miriam, a kavvanah and a prayer by Trisha Arlin

We lift Miriam’s cup, Dancing prophet celebrating the world that is now. And we tell God we are grateful For the water from the earth that was Miriam’s gift, Welcome necessity, On God’s behalf. Miriam announces joy! And teaches us to save ourselves. Miriam, the bringer of mercy, There’s no prayer for her in the haggadah— So make one up! . . .

הקול קטן של אליהו הנביא | A reflection on despair and suicide awareness to be read upon opening the door for Elijah at the Passover seder

Although God often speaks to humanity in the rumble of earthquakes, the roaring of wind and the thunder of storms, God spoke to Elijah, instead, in a still small voice. And, it was the nurturing power of the still small voice that slowly gave Elijah the courage and strength to be able to peek out of his deep abyss. On this night when we welcome Elijah to join our celebration, we acknowledge those who are so pained that they cannot fully celebrate, for joy eludes them. Although we may witness their physical wound with our eyes, we must also find ways to become attuned to their spiritual hurt and their emotional despair. The blood from the wound in their heart may not be visible and the cry in the depth of their throat may not be audible unless we train ourselves to attend to them. But, they are there. Our challenge is see and hear the pain of those whose depression affects their lives. Our response does not have to be bold in order to make a difference. A still small voice can transform a frown into a smile. A caring whisper that says, “I care” can raise a stooped head. A tender embrace can provide salve to a soul racked with pain. . . .

Elijah, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1849)

The poem, “Elijah” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 6:7, Kislev 5610, December 1849, p. 455-457. . . .