Psalm 67

Thanksgiving warrants a song, which Psalm 67 delivers: “May peoples give thanks to You, God.” This short Psalm identifies the God of the Israelites as the God who seeks a relationship with all peoples; with a vision of a future of shared rejoicing amidst God’s bounty.

Our Lev Shalem siddur (p.118) presents an interpretive translation by Stephen Mitchell, which would be a lovely addition to our own Thanksgiving tables:

Bless us, Lord, with your peace;
make your light shine with us;
so that your presence may be known
and your love appear to all people.
Let all earth’s nations honor you
and all people shout out your praise:
Christian, Muslim, and Jew,
idol-worshiper, agnostic,
Buddhist, Taoist, scientist,
brown-skinned, yellow and white.
Let wisdom speak in their hearts
and justice light up their eyes.
Let all of them feel your presence
And sing out in the fullness of joy.

This Psalm is also called “The Menorah Psalm.” Composed of 7 symmetrical verses and totalling 49 words, the Psalm was traditionally recited during the forty-nine days between Pesech and Shavuot as an inward journey toward greater refinement. The image of the words in the shape of the seven-branched menorah of the Holy Temple was  used by the mystics as a focal image for prayer, believed to illuminate divinely the person from within.