To help their communities grapple with the pandemic, this summer, the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership at Hebrew College and the Interfaith Youth Core collaborated on a series of interreligious and cross-cultural events exploring the Book of Psalms. Over 18 weeks, the series brought together a diverse group of religious leaders, cultural critics, musicians, poets, artists, and activists to focus on a different psalm each week and draw on the prayer-poems to help express and make sense of their feelings and experiences during this tumultuous time.
The project began with an online PsalmSeason Concert on June 8 and the launch of the PsalmSeason digital platform.
We are living in a time of widespread illness, ongoing racism, and deep fear and division. People throughout the world are crying out, raising their voices in protest and lament, seeking hope and solace. Our voices echo those over the millennia who have cried out in every generation, turning to their spiritual traditions for guidance and inspiration.
Four weeks ago, the two of us, one rabbi and one minister, decided we wanted to explore the biblical Book of Psalms--a collection of beautiful, gritty, desperate, and uplifting prayer-poems--in our time. And so, we conceived PsalmSeason: An Online Encounter with the Wisdom of the Psalms.
Over the next 18 weeks (the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word for life--chai), a diverse group of religious leaders, cultural critics, musicians, poets, artists, and activists will explore the Psalms, bringing their power to bear on our lives in this trying time. Like the ancient Hebrew writers, we seek to express our fear, anger, and sadness, while also giving thanks for the preciousness of life, recommitting to a better future for all.