Category Archives: Prayer

Wholly Complete And Holy Incomplete

The Torah’s first creation story concludes: Va-yechulu…And the heaven and the earth and all of their ranks were finished. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done and rested on the seventh day from all … Continue reading

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Meaning Beyond All Blessings And Poems

“I want my kids to say Kaddish for me after I die, but I can’t explain to them why, or what Kaddish means to me. I’ve looked at the translation—but that’s not what the Kaddish means to me; and if … Continue reading

Posted in Kaddish, Poetry, Prayer | 3 Comments

Steps, Blessed Be They

God is steps, declared Yehuda Amichai. Such an outright assertion about God was unusual for the great Israeli poet. He was fond of similes that invited listeners closer to the mystery without violating the distance that mystery needs. Among his … Continue reading

Posted in Midrash, Poetry, Prayer, Torah | 1 Comment

In Light of Obligation

Halacha is law; the obligated Jewish life. To live without halacha is impossible. To live with it is risky— from a lecture by Rabbi David Hartman. When halachic man looks to the western horizon and sees the fading rays of … Continue reading

Posted in Midrash, Poetry, Prayer, Talmud | 3 Comments

Giving God A Hand

In memory of Rabbi David Hartman …a memorial between your eyes (Exodus 13:9) During what turned out to be Rabbi David Hartman’s final lesson in his beloved summer Rabbinic Torah Seminar, he shared a personal prayer that he would offer … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Prayer, Talmud | 2 Comments

“Pleas” Knock

That place, just above the latch to the left that no one has or ever will touch the place hidden, on which no one has laid a hand the place that does not know how to ask- It is the … Continue reading

Posted in Days of Awe, Holidays, Poetry, Prayer | 2 Comments

Raised, Not Razed

Here in a place where a ruin wants once more to be a new house, its desire increases our own…. Everything here is busy with the work of remembering: the ruin remembers… (Click here for complete Amichai poem in Hebrew … Continue reading

Posted in Elijah, Jerusalem, Poetry, Prayer, Talmud | Leave a comment

Fashioning the Fashioner

I say with complete faith that prayers preceded God. Prayers fashioned God God fashioned man and man fashions prayers that fashion God who fashions man. Says the poet, Yehuda Amichai:  Prayers generate the endless cycle of hope and help, of … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Prayer | 2 Comments

The Pot Becomes the Potter

We are like clay in designer’s hand, As he wills—to contract, as he wills—to expand, So are we in your hand to lovingly define, Look past our designs keep the covenant in mind. An anonymous prayer poet shaped Jeremiah’s image … Continue reading

Posted in Days of Awe, Holidays, Poetry, Prayer | 7 Comments

Tall Tales and Worthy Quest(ion)s

Can we allow an ancient story to tell itself on its own terms?  Are we willing to invite a story’s images without insisting upon its meanings?  Can we meet the gaze of a story, assuring it with our questions that … Continue reading

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