Oh You Hills, Oh You Sands

If you listen, if you listen with your heart and with your soul, you can hear the stones speak. The stones bear witness to our dedication to this nation and this people.

Oh, yes. In Israel, we have a love affair with the land.

Perhaps because we’re still building a nation. Perhaps because the fruits and vegetables that we eat are picked from the Moshav just up the road. Perhaps because we’re surrounded by immense beauty. Perhaps because we live at the crossroad of land and history.

For Yom Ha’azmaut, here’s my ode to the Negev. I wrote it after a 20 minute meditation on the sand dunes of the Arava. For more prayers and meditations on Israel, including a new prayer for Lone Soldiers in the IDF, please click here.

Oh You Hills, Oh You Sands

Speak to me
Oh you hills.
Did my father pass this way?
Did my mother draw water
From some secret well?
Did I dream of angels and blessings?
Or will the man I am
Wrestle all night
With the man
I am yet to be?

Speak to me
Oh you sands.
What ancient beauty have you captured?
What silent yearning springs up
To water my heart?
What treasures do you
Still hold dear?

Let me know the music of your valleys.
Let me hear the heart beat
Beneath your thousand stones.
Let me remember
The ancient promise of home.

Speak to me
From the place where
Desert and sky meet
In perfect silence,
In perfect wisdom,
In perfect love.

Oh You Hills, Oh You Sands” is © 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

About the Author
Alden Solovy is a liturgist, poet, and educator. His teaching spans from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem to Limmud UK and synagogues throughout North America. He's the author of “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day” and has written more than 750 pieces of new liturgy. His new book, "This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings," was published in 2019. He made aliyah in 2012. Read his work at www.ToBendLight.com.