I Was There
Mose spoke to Joshua, his successor:
He told him a couple of things but what I remember most
is the phrase chazak v’ematz —
Be strong and courageous;
I loved it when Mose talked about courage
he was one of the few who did.
Mose said not to be afraid
G*d would accompany us;
G*d would not have brought us this far
to let us go on alone, Mose said.
Then Mose did something really important:
he sat down and wrote the Torah.
He wrote the entire document so we would have something
to tell the future.
He wrote it down for us
the whole thing.
When Mose was done writing, G*d began to speak with him.
Your days are drawing near to die,
G*d said to Mose,
Go get Joshua and stand in the Tent of Meeting —
So I can give Joshua final instructions.
That’s what they did;
Mose and Joshua stood in the tent of meeting
and G*d appeared in a pillar of cloud —
so we didn’t catch everything.
What we heard was difficult:
it was about the future
and what we would forget and how someone
would have to remind us now and again —
what we are all about.
So Mose wrote out the Torah
then he made up a song
Mose taught us the song that day
it was a song, or a poem —
and some of it was heard and is known —
And some of it
There is a known song
and a secret song;
a known poem and a secret poem.
One is flesh and form
the other bone and spirit.
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D E half-flat F G
Every Shabbat is associated with a musical figure, a maqam,
Arabic cognate of maqom = place.