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praise god

written for chochmat halev, berkeley, shabbes, tammuz/july 5782


Praise God

When there is nothing left to do, praise god

Praise God

for delight

Praise God

for despair

Praise God

lest we forget it

for the ability to praise


Praise God Praise Her Praise Her Praise Her

Let your tongue parade with praise and serenade Her

She has given you life

She has given you pain

She has given you joy

and those are all the same thing

Praise her Praise her Praise Her


Praise God

with clenched fists

Praise god

with upturned palms

Praise god

with your body

Praise god

that you have a body

that that body comes across other bodies

and makes good, makes naughty

makes justice

make peace

makes the world different

and if we’re lucky

better

and if we’re really lucky

a lil more healed


Praise God

for change

Praise God

for always

Praise God

for the thrill of it

Praise God

for the way "ba" tingles your lips

and "ru" massages your palette

and "ch" tickles the back of your throat


Baruch Hashem

cuz it feels good

Baruch hashem

cuz it burns

Baruch hashem, Praise that god

cuz it opens you up so that you can praise her again

and again and again

Praise her til you’ve run out of things to praise

And then praise her for that

Praise her for your chance to be alive in this moment

the terrible, un-asked for miracle of that gift

Praise her for the song she chiseled into your heart so deep you can’t help but sing it

Praise her helpless to not praise

Praise her for shabbes if you want

For the candles if you can

for the good

for the bad

for all that is

For any is at all

Praise her like your enemy

Praise her like your friend

Praise her in hate and in love and with an acid tongue and with ancient harmony

Praise her like the queen

because she is

Praise her because she is


We praise because we are

We praise in defiance of that

in anguish around it

in overwhelming rapture within it

You praise for blessings I couldn’t even dream of

I praise for a heartbeat you’ll never have inside you

But as long as I am I will always have it inside me

And you’ll have yours

We must praise her

There is no other way

If we don’t know another way

We’ll never find another way


Curse anything else

But praise her

Like balaam

til all your curses become praise

Til you remember what it’s like to walk around with a tongue relieved from the bitter and necessary weight of anger at this world


Praise her til you learn that she is in everything

So if you ever grow tired of hating anything

You can find her in there to love


Praise her til you sweat

Til you get tired

Praise her like it’s not easy

like it’s something you’re actually doing

Like an exercise, with strain, and movement, and effort, and force


Praise her

Please

Please


I need it

I forget sometimes how


And the only way I can ever remember

is by hearing you do it


So please praise her for me

praise her for you

praise her for her own damn self

any way you need it to be asked

i’m just begging you please

if you can


just


praise her

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