O Holy God of Shabbes Inspiration Pinchas

Maqam Saba

*in Zohar, Pinchas is identified with Eliyahu HaNavi, Elijah the prophet

A maqam is a musical figure. Each Shabbat is associated with a particular maqam. Maqam Saba is associated with children, birth, brit. Covenant.

D E half-flat F G flat

You know we are dreaming peace all the time now

the evidence of that broken vav

in shalom of brit shalom [Numbers 25:12]

— that may be what’s holding it up.

Let’s fix the vav in the brit shalom

the covenant of peace

this reward that is given to your loyalist Pinchas.

You rewarded him the priesthood

for that unseemly act [Numbers 25:7 ff.]

so what is it — this covenant of peace —

the near peace and the far peace [Isaiah 57:19]

with the far peace you have confidence in the future

the near peace is more elusive

but HEY –


The near peace the inward peace

also elusive

the far peace

they’re negotiating a world away


here we are praying

working our gardens and our abs.

I have to ask Pinchas

son of Eleazar son of Aaron

what kind of peace maker might you be

priest-man you ran them through

— that man and his girlfriend —

killed them both

you love an argument

your reward the priesthood

what about that diminished yud in your name? [Numbers 25:11]

Something unfinished in you Pinchas [K’sav Sofer and Ha-amek davar]

we need you but we need you


Hey Pinchas

The vav in shalom seems so broken right now

K’TIA! I holler. [K’tia = broken]

Remember the perfect vav before its brokenness

the sign of connection.

Ahhhh — sometimes I feel so hollow and broken too

K’tia! on me.

When I feel this way —

restore me because I am not broken

use your language to integrate —

the power of blessing.

Use your words to make peace out of the pieces

lift up the lower union to join the upper union

that’s vav in its complete form

the connector.

It connects in form

up and down the straight line vav

heaven to earth

the vertical link.

It connects in context

the horizontal, the holy and

vav ha-chibur

the vav meaning and

the most conjunctive humble word.

Pinchas – fix that vav

restore the brokenness between us

within us

the and



the vertical


this will be our priest-man.

Oh priesliness fix it all

if you can’t I will

I’m working on it

me and all my pals

we are whole and ready

deputize us.

I’m trying to end this prayer

but I can’t.

I’m waiting for new language

something horizontal

[vertical too]



the repair of the near and the repair of the far

suggesting something entirely new out of the old might rise

something like –


james stone goodman*

*I am no Pinchas

maybe the son of a Pinchas