Monday’s Blog, meaning of Selah

Being in the midst of the Jewish New Year High holidays, it is the prime time for self reflection, staying focused on assessment of the year just past. It is the time to repeat timeless, ancient and modern prayers and how often I have recited the word Selah present at the end of many prayers often pondering over the meaning of the word. I have been aware of the term for years. I decided to finally pursue its meaning once and for all with a Google search.
The name is derived from the term commonly used in the Book of Psalms, which has a many Hebrew scholars in confusion over its meaning. Given its context in the Bible, Selahis likely to mean “to praise” or “pause and reflect upon what has just been read.”
Consider the word “amen” or “so be it”, as found in the early scriptures of the Bible, I learned that itis said to be of Hebrew origin; however, “the basic triconsonantal root from which the word was derived is common to a number of languages, such as Aramaic, in the Semitic branch of the Afrasian languages.”
We are thereby instructed to take time to pause and consider what we have just read before continuing with the progression of the service at hand. For me, this is more proof of the great wisdom of our sages through the ages if I may so state and touches deeply on our lives as we live today. Always in a rush, multi tasking, over extended, the usual list of the chaos of our complex lives. 

In modern cliché, I call to mind the directive to “stop and smell the roses.” or take time to stop and smell the roses.” I had always thought of Gertrude Stein as the coiner of this phrase. I am wrong, and possibly have pursued the answer in the past, but it has faded from my memory. The correct person is Walter Hagen, spanning the years from (b. December 21, 1892 –d. October 6, 1969). Hagan was
an American professional golfer and a major figure in golf in the first half of the 20th century.[1] His tally of 11 professional majors is third behind Jack Nicklaus (18) and Tiger Woods (14).

Hagen won the U.S. Open twice, and in 1922 he became the first native-born American to win the British Open, “ Furthermore, Hagan was born in Rochester, NY, my home town. His parents were of German descent, his dad working as a millwright and blacksmith in the Rochester railroad-car shops. He learned and honed his golf game as a caddie working at the Country Club of Rochester. For more of Walter Hagen’s bio, go to he URL;

In this era of increasing chaos, change, challenge and unexpected events from politics, to terrorism, to major weather events and high expectations of life, it is never to often to remember to savor our very present moments. Join me in stopping, looking around, smelling the smells, celebrating with the ones you love, admiring the view, the smiles and encounters with people, new places, familiar places and things you love. Practice this many times a day and take deep breaths, give a little sigh and go on with your busy lives, a continuum on the long timeline of history.

                          (reminder to scroll downward or check my archives for past posts)