I chose this text last summer, shortly after speaking with Bob Stern about the possibility of writing the first commissioned work for Mak’hela. He described the chorus and its enthusiasm for singing Jewish music. Looking in the song section of my Benscher (book with blessings after the meal and various songs for Sabbath), I found these four lines and immediately felt they could celebrate and express the joyful singing of Mak’hela.
I then went on a river rafting trip in Idaho where this text reverberated in me, the trees, rivulets, hills– all of Creation exulting and singing to the Creator, the Eternal One. When I returned from the trip, I was officially invited to compose the new work, and I asked if this text would be acceptable.
It wasn’t until I was immersed in composing that I looked at the rest of Psalm 104 for further reflection, and was delighted to discover the preceding verses are overflowing with praise for the Creator and Creation: Ma rabu ma’asecha HaShem. Kulam b’chochmah asita (How many are Your works, HaShem, You made them all with wisdom.).