[M.M.X.I.V. 298/O.C.T.O.B.E.R. III-25] פתחו לי שערי צדק (post in English)

The major holiday season for the Jewish faith ended last week with שמחת תורה (Simchat Torah: the day when we finish reading Deuteronomy and start over from Genesis).  The next Jewish holiday (excluding the weekly sabbath) is not until חנוכה (Hanukkah).  However, today we read the הלל (Hallel) portion of the service since today coincided with the beginning of a new month: חשבן (Cheshvan).

I have implied in a previous post that today is the beginning of the eighth (not the second!) month of the Hebrew year, so something related to that fits in very well with the O.C.T.O.B.E.R. theme.  Coincidentally, the eighth song/vocally-recited section of the Hallel psalms is one of my favorites from services.  Here it is in Hebrew:
פתחו לי שערי צדק, אבוא בם, אודה יה. זה השער לד’, צדיקים יבואו בו
And here is my translation:

Open for me the gates of righteousness–I will enter them and praise the Eternal.  This is the gate to HASHEM, therein shall the righteous enter.  (Psalm 118:19-20)

I will focus more on my personal reaction to this tune.  It is sung during every הלל service, and the tune implied by the YouTube video above is one of my favorite melodies from the service.  It brought tears to my eyes when I sang it during נעילה (the closing service on Yom Kippur) in Lincoln, and I also sang it for Bus 247’s talent show (albeit without a visible emotional breakdown then).

Sometimes, in religion or other areas, there is something that just speaks to you.  It may be a tune, it may be words, or it may be something ineffable.  Whatever it is, these two lines speak to me, even though I am not particularly religious in the sense of theology.  The image of the gates means something to me, perhaps somehow linking to my long-ago obsession with garage doors.

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Today is the two-hundred and ninety-eighth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes forty-two weeks and four days.

Today is the twenty-fifth day of the third round of O.C.T.O.B.E.R.  That makes three weeks and four days.

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