All That We Praise
The text for this song is an interpretive translation by Rabbi Ronald Aigen of a Hebrew prayer in the High Holy Day services. This piece evokes a feeling of gratitude for the gifts of life, despite life's many challenges. The accompanying image shows a scene from the process of crafting a Torah scroll, in which we find the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
English translation by Rabbi Ronald Aigen
Music by Rabbi Naomi Steinberg
Soloists: Berel Alexander and Bel-Ami Margoles
Choir: Temple Beth El Choir
Piano: Laura Welch
Violin: Marnin Robbins
Recording engineering: Steen
You are all that we praise you for -
slow to anger and easily appeased.
For you do not desire a person's death,
but rather that one turn from one's path and live.
Until the day of our death you await us;
when we return, you immediately welcome us.
For you are the Creator
and you know the nature of your creatures,
that they are flesh and blood.
A person's origin is dust and one's end is dust,
at the hazard of one's life one earns a living.
We are fragile as pottery, so easily shattered,
like the grass that withers like the flower that fades,
like the fleeting shadow, like the vanishing cloud,
like the wind that rushes by, like the scattered dust,
like the dream that flies away.
ואתה הוא מלך אל חי וקים (v'atah hu melekh el chai v'kayam)