Sunday, September 14, 2008

Elul 14, 5768

Now is my head high
over my enemies roundabout;
I sacrifice in His tent with shouts of joy,
singing and chanting a hymn to the Lord.
Psalm 27:6

Today's verse from Psalm 27 reminds me immediately of one of my favorite books -- not just in childhood -- Pollyanna. Pollyanna's father (dead before the story begins) was a minister who emphasized the "rejoicing texts" of the Bible -- the ones that say "shout for joy," "rejoice greatly," "be glad in the Lord, " and so forth. Pollyanna tells the local minister (a troubled man) that once when feeling low her father counted all the rejoicing texts and found more than eight hundred of them. Pollyanna's recounts that her father said "if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it -- some."

The book Pollyanna was first published in 1912. In the decades that followed through the first World War and the great depression, the book continued to be extraordinarily popular with both adults and children. However, the word "pollyanna" came to be used by many during those decades as an pejorative label to describe someone who was blind to reality, living in an impossible dream world in which every thing had a silver lining.

Nonetheless, I still find this book whose charming heroine unself-consciously transforms those around her through her postive outlook to be refreshing and inspiring.

And I will sing and chant a hymn to the Lord.

2 comments:

Jessica G said...

I am LOVING your posts about Judaism! I've only been to Temple a handful of times and most of what I know I learned from my dad and mum.

Thank you for the posts! Thank you for making me sit, think and realize that my life is blessed in more ways than I can count!

Sue said...

Thank you, for listening and responding!