Hear my prayer
Hear my prayer, from the dark I cry out to you (102:2)
I’m lost and weary, bed soaked from tears (6:6)
I cannot see, I cannot see
Turn your ear to me on the day I call (102:3)
Don’t hide from me, don’t hide from me
You feel so far away from me, and I need You now (22:12)
What will You say? What will I hear?
One thing, just one thing I ask of you
One thing is all I desire
To feel you near, a home I’ll build in you
Now and till the end (27:4)
Melody by Josh Warshawsky
What if we prayed our feelings?
Each morning, we begin our prayers with the words of “P’sukei D’Zimrah, Verses of Song.” These are selected hybrid verses from the Psalms, collected around certain themes like kingship, loyalty, and faith. Sometimes, these words offer me inspiration and guidance, but other times I don’t want to begin my prayer with verses about kingship and faith.
Before the siddur was codified the prayer leader used to choose selections for P’sukei D’Zimrah based on what they were feeling that day. So one day I made my way through the Psalms looking for words of consolation, comfort, and support in a time when I was feeling lonely and lost. These words called out to me from disparate Psalms and I put them together into a new psalm of my own.
What if each morning we were able to sing out verses that actually expressed how we were feeling that day: nervousness, excitement, loneliness, joy, fear…
What happens when we call out? What could a response sound like? This song is a psalm of loneliness, but it is just the beginning. As the melody continues, other voices join in, helping us to feel less alone.
This High Holiday Season, let’s try to really pray what we feel, using the words of the machzor as our guide. Take a listen, what does it bring up for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Executive Producers: Marc and Susan Sacks
With generous additional funding provided by Sacred Sounds Unbound: Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills and Temple Beth Am Los Angeles
Co-Sponsored by the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, Los Angeles, CA
Produced and mixed by Jeremy Lawrence
Engineered by Patrick Kehrier and Tyler Karmen
Additional Audio Editing by Josh Kay and Patrick Rimterakul
Mastered by Mike White
Vocal arrangements and production by Ayo Awosika
Musical direction by Brock Pollock
Directed by Dustin Warren
Produced by The Matterworks
Edited by Josh Warshawsky
Cinematography by Dustin Warren and Ricky Sanchez
Recorded at 64 Sound in Highland Park, CA
Featuring the Chaverai Nevarech Band:
Josh Warshawsky (Guitar, Lead Vocals)
Brock Pollock (Music Producer, Bass)
Ayo Awosika (Vocal Producer, Vocals)
Coleen Dieker (Vocals)
Duvid Swirsky (Lead Guitar, Bouzouki, Banjo, Vocals)
Chava Mirel (Vocals)
Deborah Sacks Mintz (Vocals)
Jackson Vance Mercer (Vocals)
Lior Shragg (Percussion)
Jenni Asher (Violin)
Bonnie Levine (Harmonium on Tefillah)
Copyright 2022 Rabbi Josh Warshawsky
Chaverai Nevarech Music
For resources, sheet music, videos, and more, visit www.joshwarshawsky.com