O holy Shabbes Inspiration Mishpatim
Maqam Saba
D E half-flat F G flat

The Arabic word Sabi means baby boy, so Maqam Saba is used for the Berit Milah (circumcision). Saba is used for perashiot that contain either births, covenants (berit), a variety of laws, the mention or reference to an army (Saba), or the actual word Saba. Maqam Saba is also used on Shemini Atseret (Eighth Day of Succot) and the Eighth Day of Pesah, because the number eight is associated with berit.

They saw the God of Israel
they had a vision of God
in their chests
then they ate and drank. [Ex.24:9]

If we feel God everywhere
in our chests
on the mountain top
God in the Torah
God in the kitchen
God waiting for the bus
God everywhere
why not

The last line
And Moses came into the cloud
and went up the mountain
and Moses was up on the mountain
forty days and forty nights. [Ex.24:18]

We want to know
what happened up the mountain?
What did Moses see?
In the Zohar
Moses ascends
wearing the garment of colors
draped over his shoulders by the rainbow,

he saw what he saw
he enjoyed it
All of it
up to that place.

What place.

What place is it where language meets its limit
beyond which the most that can be said
about something
is nothing.

It’s like this
and like that
like this
— an old man like me
doesn’t offer a single version
a word rattling around in an empty bottle –

first: the obvious
then the less obvious
the secret even
to arrive where we began
the plain sense
the surfaces having released their opacity


We know this about life
every now and again
don’t we?

jsg, usa