by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen

This Shabbat is Shabbat Shira, when we read the Song of the Sea, the song Moses sang after the Israelites passed through the opening in the Sea of Reeds and arrived in the desert of future wandering, where Pharaoh could not touch them, a song of praise and exaltation. This weekend is also Mass Audubon’s Focus on Feeders weekend, a time to watch the birds at our feeders, count and record them, and send in our data to Mass Audubon. Counting the birds, we can think of the celebration of freedom, and praise the Creator in our own way. Here is a sample blessing to recite while watching the birds, thinking about all kinds of songs, and remembering to be grateful:

On this glorious day, I give thanks to you, O G!d. Thank you for the many wonders of the Earth, for fleeting glimpses of color – red and blue and yellow, white and green and orange, for feathers long and short and for light through the luminous sky, for nests large and small of grass and mud and sticks, for songs that awaken us in the morning and lull us to sleep in the evening, “that my soul might sing to you and not be silent, Wondrous One my G!d. Forever will I thank you.” (Ps. 31:13)