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[Prayer on] the Decline of Religious Observance, by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924)

https://opensiddur.org/?p=54741 [Prayer on] the Decline of Religious Observance, by Rabbi Abraham Cronbach (1924) 2024-03-12 16:14:09 Titled, "The Decline of Religious Observance," this prayer from Rabbi Abraham Cronbach open's his collection of prayer, <em><a href="/?p=54731">Prayers of the Jewish Advance</a></em> (1924), on pages 2 through 5. Text the Open Siddur Project Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Aharon N. Varady (transcription) Abraham Cronbach https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Aharon N. Varady (transcription) https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ Congregation &amp; Community 20th century C.E. תחינות teḥinot 57th century A.M. English vernacular prayer irreligiosity

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“Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of Thee,
And Thou, O Lord, art more than they.”
—Tennyson.[1] A stanza from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: [Prelude]” (1850). 
Changeless One!
Undismayed by the passing of aught that is finite
is the heart that clingeth to Thee.
Cherished customs are waning,
beloved institutions are vanishing.
Frequently forsaken are our consecrated abodes.
Our soul is oft disquieted within us.
But, Infinite,
Thou dost not vanish
and the ways are infinite
that lead unto Thee.
Thou didst reign “ere paths were trod.”
O guide into other paths
those who no longer follow
the paths of old.
Pursue Thy wandering children
with Thy love.
In the quiet of their dwellings,
let Thy sweet spirit reach them.
In the tumult of the thoroughfare,
let it o’ertake them.
Let the consciousness of Thee
come upon them at their daily labors,
making of our busy marts and mills
Horeb pasture grounds,
Ophra threshing floors
and Teḳoa sycamore groves—
the place of toil, the place of revelation
and the hour of work, the hour of vision.
The raptures of the musician’s strains
can be vehicles of Thee.
The poet’s measures and the painter’s tints
can be messages of Thee.
The dear faces of our children
can be glimpses of Thy face.
The handclasps of loving friendship
can be touches of Thy hand.
Human voices that gladden
can be echoes of Thy voice.
The ocean with its freedom and vastness
can intimate how free and vast art Thou.
The stars that glitter in the pensive night,
the hush and blush of blossom perfumed dawn,
the pageantry of the sunset,
solemn and gorgeous,
can be Thy silent pathways
to the inmost regions of the soul.
We penitently acknowledge
that our conventional altars
have not always stood undefiled.
Their purposes and motives
have oft diverged
from the highest and the best.
But, Lord,
our failure is not Thy failure.
Thou Thyself mayest yet take
the building stones of our dismantled shrines
and fashion therefrom a new “pathway of the Lord,”
a better “highway for our God.”
Forgiveness, forbearance, love
are Thy truest Temple.
Unto this Temple, may every footstep tend.
“Established in the top of the mountains,”
let the mountain of this Temple tower.
Unto this House of Prayer,
let all nations flow,
walking in Thy steps,
learning of Thy ways,
and illumined by Thine ever-growing light.

Titled, “The Decline of Religious Observance,” this prayer from Rabbi Abraham Cronbach open’s his collection of prayer, Prayers of the Jewish Advance (1924), on pages 2 through 5.





1A stanza from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam A.H.H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: [Prelude]” (1850).



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