Ps. 91: I Will Wake the Dawn
Debra Band is a Hebrew manuscript artist residing in Potomac, MD. She is the author and illuminator of six illuminated books and commentaries, including The Song of Songs: the Honeybee in the Garden (2005), I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms (2007, with Arnold J. Band), and Kabbalat Shabbat: the Grand Unification (2016, with Raymond P. Scheindlin and Arthur Green).
Psalm 91 took on deep meaning for me during my late first husband, David’s, long battle with a unique spinal cord cancer that ended nearly twelve years ago. In its three-way conversation between Psalmist, reader, and—remarkably—the Divine, God assures each of us of God’s protection from every danger. In my illuminations I introduce mystical ideas scholars attribute to the Second Temple priesthood to allude to our protection by the angels. I returned to that conversation with the Divine for many months following David’s death, on Monday evenings at 9:15—the moment when his soul parted from his body—I read the psalm standing in the spot in my house where he lay. Now, more than eleven years later, I continue that ritual at his grave, praying that bound now into eternity, he enjoys eternal divine protection.
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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.