The Still, Small Voice

| Shavuot By :  Sam Blustin JTS Alum (Rabbinical School, Center for Pastoral Education) Posted On Jun 10, 2016 / 5776 | דבר אחר | A Different Perspective | Holidays

“Still Small Voice”

Lyrics and music: Eliana Light (DS ’16) and Sam Blustin (RS ’20)
Vocals and accompaniment: Sam Blustin

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah experiences a divine intervention: an angel brings him food, and then, on Mount Sinai, God passes by him. But God was not in the wind, nor the earthquake, nor the fire, but “the still, small voice.” This chapter includes allusions to other moments of divine revelation, which we highlighted in this song, including the giving of the Torah.

These stories tell of an immanent God who interacts with humans in the world. But where is that God today? When the gap between the God of the Torah and the God that we experience is too large, connecting to Jewish texts, and even believing in God, can become difficult. In our song, we express this questioning of God’s presence in the world. And this story of Elijah may have an answer for us: God is not located in earth-shattering events, but in the still small voice within, pushing us in the direction of love and justice.

Perhaps the giving of the Torah was one of those “still, small voice” moments. A Hasidic teaching claims that only the first aleph of the first commandment was revealed on Sinai. Aleph has no sound by itself, so in this silent letter, the entirety of revelation is held, both the revelation that occurred at Sinai and the revelation that happens in every moment. This Shavuot, may our actions merit this continued revelation, and may this revelation continue to inspire us to live lives of love and justice.