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Everyday Worship, Inspiration, Judaism

Last Shabbat Service of 2012 – May I Suggest This Is the Best Part of Your Life?

sinai entranceIn Week 48 of the first 52 weeks of My 52 Weeks of Worship, I had the pleasure of visiting Temple Sinai in my hometown of Atlanta. I ended up there because of the one rule that governed my year-long journey: “If someone invited me to worship at their place of worship, I had to accept.”

Because of that I experienced a powerful day in that 48th week – attending a Jumu’ah service at the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam in the afternoon, then attending an evening Shabbat service at Temple Sinai.

Two friends from high school invited me to attend Temple Sinai – the first time, I attended Shabbat service with one; last night I had the pleasure of attending with the other. It was, the rabbi reminded us, the last Shabbat service of 2012.

It was packed – apparently two members of the community was celebrating their daughters’ B’nei Mitzvah (plural of Bar/Bat Mitzvah) on New Year’s Eve, so there was family from all over in attendance. I, as always, enjoyed the service, the reading from the Torah, and the mellow vibe that permeated the sanctuary. The energy was clearly one of a community gathering in a familiar and powerful way. There were birthdays celebrated and prayers shared. Lost loved ones were remembered.

The message for the evening, however, came mostly in the form of a song – the rabbi stood in the bima, or pulpit, with a guitar, and sang the lyrics of a song by Ellis Paul, called May I Suggest. The lyrics spoke to me – and the things that many of us are thinking about as this year ends and a new year begins. The rabbi made a profound statement at the end of the message. He said (and I’m paraphrasing) – “It doesn’t really matter what happened in 2012…we still approach 2013 with a sense of hope.” This might be simplistic – certainly many things happened in 2012 that have affected us and may continue to do so…but as I listened to the lyrics of the song, and contemplated that the powerful nature of hope. And given that we have hope, today, and as we look forward, perhaps this truly is the best part of my life. Of our lives.

Enjoy the lyrics, shared below. Enjoy the last days of 2012.

May I Suggest
by Ellis Paul

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of your life
May I suggest
This time is blessed for you
This time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright
Just turn your head
And you’ll begin to see
The thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight
The reasons why
Why I suggest to you
Why I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a world
That’s been addressed to you
Addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
Like a treasure chest to you
Of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerise
A lover’s trusting smile
A tiny baby’s hands
The million stars that fill the turning sky at night
Oh I suggest
Oh I suggest to you
Oh I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a hope
That’s been expressed in you
The hope of seven generations, maybe more
And this is the faith
That they invest in you
It’s that you’ll do one better than was done before
Inside you know
Inside you understand
Inside you know what’s yours to finally set right
And I suggest
And I suggest to you
And I suggest this is the best part of your life

This is a song
Comes from the west to you
Comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
With a request
With a request of you
To see how very short the endless days will run
And when they’re gone
And when the dark descends
Oh we’d give anything for one more hour of light

And I suggest this is the best part of your life

[ Lyrics from: http://www.ellispaul.com/index.php?page=songs&display=4422&category=Side_of_the_Road %5D
Copyright Susan Werner/Virago Music, BMI

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Last Shabbat Service of 2012 – May I Suggest This Is the Best Part of Your Life?

  1. Hello Pamay, just wanted you to know I appreciate you and to say thank you for what you’re doing! I love this song and take it as kismet! I’ll be back :) Best wishes, and God bless, Robin

    Posted by Robin Hallett (@robinshallett) | February 8, 2013, 6:16 pm

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