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by Jim Vasquez
Now count, my soul, the benefits,
The Lord bestows so full and say,
"Let all within me praise his Name,"
Forgetting not, this day,
That he forgives your deepest sin,
Your ravaged body kindly heals,
And from the pit your life redeems,
With good your longing seals.
And thus renewed, your youth is like,
The eagle's, ageless, winging o'er,
The land, the sea or mountain peak,
Where'er it wills to soar.
And righteousness the Lord will work,
For those oppressed where they may be,
Awaiting justice oft denied,
Whose fruit they seldom see.
But he in ages past made known,
His ways to Moses, prophet, seer,
And mighty acts to Israel,
That taught them much to fear.
Yet gracious and compassionate,
He ever was and ever is,
No other love so full abounds,
That can compare with his.
He harbors not in sullen mood,
Ill feeling toward the guilty one,
Accusing not for aye the soul,
Of deeds unjustly done.
And though most worthy we for sins,
Of strictest judgment he might bring,
He cancels our iniquity,
And safeguards from its sting.
For high as heav'n above the earth,
So great to those who fear his name,
Is his most kind, enduring love,
And will be e'er the same.
And now from us he has removed,
As far as east from west is found,
Our furtive, base iniquities,
Beyond both sight and sound.
For as a father looks upon,
His children with compassion so,
To all who walk in fear with him.
Does his compassion flow.
And not forgetful of our form,
Of dust, he knows, we are composed,
To dust returning finally,
Devoid of life, reposed.
For days of man are like the grass,
Or flower that blooms so fleetingly,
And when the wind blows o'er, the place,
Holds not its memory.
Not so the love of God to those,
Who, fearing him, will walk aright,
Their children's children all their days,
His righteousness recite.
For thus his goodness is bestowed,
On those who keep his precepts and,
His covenant remember well,
Each day throughout the land.
And in the heav'ns o'er every power,
Our God has placed his ageless throne,
His kingdom over all things rules,
The common and unknown.
Now bless the Lord, you angels bright,
Who quick his sovereign bidding do,
And all the hosts of heaven that,
His glorious presence view.
And bless him you exalted works,
Wherever found, close by, abroad,
Who worthy is of all your praise,
Now bless, my soul, your God.
from the November 2003 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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