Shekhinah guides our peaceful way,
renewing us each day.
Within our souls She will stay;
within our souls She will stay.
Shekhinah gives us energy,
renewing you and me.
With Her our spirits are free;
with Her our spirits are free.
Words © 2019 Jann Aldredge-Clanton Music © 2019 Katie Ketchum
Our journeys often lead through a wilderness. We don’t know which way to turn, and we long for guidance. We can call on Shekhinah to guide us.
Shekhinah (shĭ-kē′nə, -KHē′-, -kī′-) is a feminine Hebrew word translated “dwelling” and denotes the dwelling of Divine Presence and the glory of the Divine (Exodus 29:45; 40:34-38). She is a visible manifestation of Divine Presence.
Moses first encountered the glory of Shekhinah in the burning bush (Exodus 3: 1-14). Later when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the commandments on stone tablets, his face shone with Her glory (Exodus 34:29-30).
In contemporary theology Shekhinah often refers to the Divine Feminine. She holds an especially prominent place in Jewish mysticism, commonly invoked in prayer and ritual. This is particularly pronounced in the Jewish Renewal movement, which is committed to gender egalitarianism. Siddur HaKohanot: A Hebrew Priestess Prayerbook, co-authored by rabbi and theologian Jill Hammer, uses Shekhinah to refer to the Divine.
The radiant glory of Shekhinah shone around and above the Israelites to guide them on their journey out of enslavement in Egypt through the wilderness to the Promised Land. As the Israelites wandered in a wilderness in search of the Promised Land for 40 years, we may feel we’ve been in a wilderness for a long time. But they weren’t left to journey through the desert alone, and neither are we. Shekhinah guided them, and She will guide us to freedom, peace, and empowerment.
I have written many other songs featuring the divine name Shekhinah. Here is “Shekhinah Shines Throughout the World” from Inclusive Songs for Resistance & Social Action.
Performed by: Katie Ketchum
Music: Katie Ketchum
Lyrics: Jann Aldredge-Clanton
Recorded at: Joe Hoffmann Studios, Occidental, CA
Katie Ketchum: Hersay book cover & “Shekhinah” paintings
Elaine Chan-Scherer: Divine Feminine painting and photo in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Crescent City, California
two photos from Vocare, Baptist Women in Ministry
photo of Christena Cleveland with “She Who Makes All Things”
photo from The Gathering, A Womanist Church
Stacy Boorn: “ChristSophia” painting