“The Spirit of Jewish Prayer,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel (1953)

“The Spirit of Jewish Prayer,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel was a speech given at the Fifty-Third Annual Convention of the Rabbinical Assembly of America which took place at the Breakers Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey from Tammuz 9 to Tammuz 14, 5713 (June 22 To June 27, 1953). The speech was subsequently published in the Proceedings of the Rabbinical Assembly of America v.17. . . .

Some thoughts on God’s proper, ineffable name, a d’var tefillah by Shoshana Michael Zucker

Loading Hebrew English לו היה לאלֹהים כרטיס ביקור, מה היה כתוב עליו? כתפקיד אפשר לרשום: ”בורא עולם“ ”גואל ישראל“ ”רופא חולים“ או פשוט ”אלֹהים“. If God had a business card, what would it say? God’s position might be “Creator of the Universe,” “Redeemer of Israel” or “Healer of the Sick,” or just “God.” אם התפקיד . . .

תחנון לימים קשים | Taḥanun [Plea for Mercy] on Hard Days by Noa Mazor (trans. by Jonah Rank)

Lord, our God, bring us days of good, of mercy, of life and of peace. Give our leaders the capability to see the natural sanctity embedded in every person. Give us the ability to trust human beings fighting for their way, for their lives–for our lives. Lord, lay us down along Your path–a path for loving humanity as humanity, a path for welcoming peace between neighbors: between humanity and pain. . . .

On Standing Before God-Who-Sees-Me by Virginia Spatz

The Amidah’s choreography is designed to call to mind an appearance before a sovereign so as to invoke the proper “stance.” Consider, though, the variety of God-communications depicted just in the book of Genesis: God talks to Adam and Eve, to Cain, Noah, and Abimelech. God even talks to the serpent. God heeds Ishmael “where he is”, and Hagar names “YHVH who spoke to her..’God-who-sees-me’.” So, in stepping up to greet God, it is sometimes fruitful to picture, instead of a royal audience, an opportunity to meet God in the cool of the garden, or to approach, at a desert spring, “God-who-sees-me.” . . .


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