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ELI Talks: Alden Solovy

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Created September 7, 2016 · 2421 Views · נוצר 7 September, 2016 · 2421 צפיות ·

    The Experience of Prayer

  1. (יג) וְחַנָּ֗ה הִ֚יא מְדַבֶּ֣רֶת עַל־לִבָּ֔הּ רַ֚ק שְׂפָתֶ֣יהָ נָּע֔וֹת וְקוֹלָ֖הּ לֹ֣א יִשָּׁמֵ֑עַ...

    (13) Now Hannah was praying in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice could not be heard...

  2. ברכות ל״ד א:כ״ט-מ״ב
    מעשה בתלמיד אחד שירד לפני התיבה בפני רבי אליעזר והיה מאריך יותר מדאי א"ל תלמידיו רבינו כמה ארכן הוא זה אמר להם כלום מאריך יותר ממשה רבינו דכתיב ביה (דברים ט, כה) את ארבעים היום ואת ארבעים הלילה וגו' שוב מעשה בתלמיד א' שירד לפני התיבה בפני ר"א והיה מקצר יותר מדאי א"ל תלמידיו כמה קצרן הוא זה א"ל כלום מקצר יותר ממשה רבינו דכתיב (במדבר יב, יג) אל נא רפא נא לה
    It happened that a disciple who descended before the Ark in the presence of R. Eliezer unduly prolonged [the prayers]. His disciples said to him, "Our master, what a prolonger he is!" He replied, "Did he prolong more than Moses, our teacher, of whom it is written, 'The forty days and forty nights that I fell down'" (Deut. ix. 25)? It again happened that a disciple who descended before the Ark in the presence of R. Eliezer unduly shortened [the prayers]. His disciples said to him, "What a shortener he is!" He replied, "Did he shorten more than Moses, our teacher ; for it is written, 'Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee'" (Num. xii. 13)?
  3. ברכות ז׳ א:א׳-ו׳
    א"ר יוחנן משום ר' יוסי מנין שהקב"ה מתפלל שנאמר (ישעיהו נו, ז) והביאותים אל הר קדשי ושמחתים בבית תפלתי תפלתם לא נאמר אלא תפלתי מכאן שהקב"ה מתפלל. מאי מצלי אמר רב זוטרא בר טוביה אמר רב יה"ר מלפני שיכבשו רחמי את כעסי ויגולו רחמי על מדותי ואתנהג עם בני במדת רחמים ואכנס להם לפנים משורת הדין.

    R. Johanan said in the name of R. Jose: Whence is it that the Holy One, blessed be He, prays? As it is said, "Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer [lit. the house of My prayer]" (ibid. Ivi. 7). It is not said "their prayer" but "My prayer"; hence we infer that the Holy One, blessed be He, prays. What does He pray? Rab Zotra b. Tobiah said in the name of Rab: "May it be My will that My mercy may subdue My wrath; and may My mercy prevail over My attributes, so that I may deal with My children in the quality of mercy and enter on their behalf within the line of strict justice."

  4. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – The Koren Siddur

    “Prayer requires practice. This is implicit in defining prayer as avoda shebalev, ‘service of the heart.’ The word avoda, service, also means hard work, labor, strenuous activity. We have to work at prayer. But there are also times when the most inarticulate prayer, said from the heart, pierces the heavens.”

  5. Rabbi Samuel Dresner – Prayer, Humility and Compassion

     

    "Prayer removes us from the market place and the counting-chamber to heal us, to wash us clean, to purify us, to strengthen us, to remind us of what we have forgotten, to let our souls touch the Source of all souls, and then to send us back to the crossroads of life so that we may live out the dreams of prayer."

  6. Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo – Siddur Nehalal beChol

    "How does man dare to speak to God, the Master of the Universe? The presumption that man can just open his mouth and believe that God will listen to him is unrivaled impertinence."

     

    "Most of the time, then, praying is a preparation for prayer." Only occasionally with there be a glorious moment when the praying man will actually pray."

  7. Rabbi Ben-Zion Bosker, The Prayer Book (a.k.a "The Bosker")

    "The function of prayer in all of its manifestations is to bring us closer to God, that we may more faithfully perform His will."

  8. The Experience of Holiness

  9. (טז) וַיִּיקַ֣ץ יַעֲקֹב֮ מִשְּׁנָתוֹ֒ וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אָכֵן֙ יֵ֣שׁ יְהוָ֔ה בַּמָּק֖וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וְאָנֹכִ֖י לֹ֥א יָדָֽעְתִּי׃ (יז) וַיִּירָא֙ וַיֹּאמַ֔ר מַה־נּוֹרָ֖א הַמָּק֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה אֵ֣ין זֶ֗ה כִּ֚י אִם־בֵּ֣ית אֱלֹהִ֔ים וְזֶ֖ה שַׁ֥עַר הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃ (יח) וַיַּשְׁכֵּ֨ם יַעֲקֹ֜ב בַּבֹּ֗קֶר וַיִּקַּ֤ח אֶת־הָאֶ֙בֶן֙ אֲשֶׁר־שָׂ֣ם מְרַֽאֲשֹׁתָ֔יו וַיָּ֥שֶׂם אֹתָ֖הּ מַצֵּבָ֑ה וַיִּצֹ֥ק שֶׁ֖מֶן עַל־רֹאשָֽׁהּ׃

    (16) Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is present in this place, and I did not know it!” (17) Shaken, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven.” (18) Early in the morning, Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it.

  10. (טז) ואנכי לא ידעתי שאלו ידעתי הייתי מכין עצמי לנבואה ולא כן עשיתי:

    (16) ואנכי לא ידעתי, if I had realised the special distinction of this site I would have prepared myself mentally for receiving these Divine insights.

  11. (יז) וזה שער השמים וזה הסלם שראיתי מורה שמן המקום שהיה בו הסלם ישמע האל ית' הנצב עליו את תפלת המתפללים ותעל תפלתם למעון קדשו השמים:

    (17) וזה שער השמים, and this ladder which I have seen in my dream that G’d stood upon is the gate to heaven. Mankind’s prayers must be viewed as ascending to heaven by means of this ladder, as we quoted earlier from Chronicles ותעל שועתם למעון קדשו השמים, “their prayer rose to the residence of His Holiness, to heaven.”

  12. Comment on Genesis 28:16-17

    The Tanach quotes reveal an implicit assumption that any encounter with God is by definition an encounter with holiness, as in the weekday Shacharit Amidah: “…אתה קדוש. (AS)

  13. אַתָּה קָדושׁ וְשִׁמְךָ קָדושׁ וּקְדושִׁים בְּכָל יום יְהַלְּלוּךָ סֶּלָה: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה', הָאֵל בעשי”ת: הַמֶּלֶךְ הַקָּדושׁ:

    You are holy and Your Name is holy, and holy ones praise Your name every day. Blessed are You, O Lord, the holy God. (During the Days of Awe say: Blessed are You, O Lord, the holy King.)

  14. (ב) וַ֠יֵּרָא מַלְאַ֨ךְ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֵלָ֛יו בְּלַבַּת־אֵ֖שׁ מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַסְּנֶ֑ה וַיַּ֗רְא וְהִנֵּ֤ה הַסְּנֶה֙ בֹּעֵ֣ר בָּאֵ֔שׁ וְהַסְּנֶ֖ה אֵינֶ֥נּוּ אֻכָּֽל׃ (ג) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֔ה אָסֻֽרָה־נָּ֣א וְאֶרְאֶ֔ה אֶת־הַמַּרְאֶ֥ה הַגָּדֹ֖ל הַזֶּ֑ה מַדּ֖וּעַ לֹא־יִבְעַ֥ר הַסְּנֶֽה׃ (ד) וַיַּ֥רְא יְהוָ֖ה כִּ֣י סָ֣ר לִרְא֑וֹת וַיִּקְרָא֩ אֵלָ֨יו אֱלֹהִ֜ים מִתּ֣וֹךְ הַסְּנֶ֗ה וַיֹּ֛אמֶר מֹשֶׁ֥ה מֹשֶׁ֖ה וַיֹּ֥אמֶר הִנֵּֽנִי׃

    (2) An angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire out of a bush. He gazed, and there was a bush all aflame, yet the bush was not consumed. (3) Moses said, “I must turn aside to look at this marvelous sight; why doesn’t the bush burn up?” (4) When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to look, God called to him out of the bush: “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Here I am.”

  15. Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, God was in this Place & I, i did not know

    "The 'burning bush' was not a miracle. It was a test. God wanted to find out whether or not Moses could pay attention to something for more than a few minutes. When Moses did, God spoke."

  16. (יא) וַיֹּ֗אמֶר צֵ֣א וְעָמַדְתָּ֣ בָהָר֮ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָה֒ וְהִנֵּ֧ה יְהוָ֣ה עֹבֵ֗ר וְר֣וּחַ גְּדוֹלָ֡ה וְחָזָ֞ק מְפָרֵק֩ הָרִ֨ים וּמְשַׁבֵּ֤ר סְלָעִים֙ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה לֹ֥א בָר֖וּחַ יְהוָ֑ה וְאַחַ֤ר הָר֨וּחַ רַ֔עַשׁ לֹ֥א בָרַ֖עַשׁ יְהוָֽה׃ (יב) וְאַחַ֤ר הָרַ֙עַשׁ֙ אֵ֔שׁ לֹ֥א בָאֵ֖שׁ יְהוָ֑ה וְאַחַ֣ר הָאֵ֔שׁ ק֖וֹל דְּמָמָ֥ה דַקָּֽה׃ (יג) וַיְהִ֣י ׀ כִּשְׁמֹ֣עַ אֵלִיָּ֗הוּ וַיָּ֤לֶט פָּנָיו֙ בְּאַדַּרְתּ֔וֹ וַיֵּצֵ֕א וַֽיַּעֲמֹ֖ד פֶּ֣תַח הַמְּעָרָ֑ה וְהִנֵּ֤ה אֵלָיו֙ ק֔וֹל וַיֹּ֕אמֶר מַה־לְּךָ֥ פֹ֖ה אֵלִיָּֽהוּ׃

    (11) “Come out,” He called, “and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And lo, the LORD passed by. There was a great and mighty wind, splitting mountains and shattering rocks by the power of the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind—an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake. (12) After the earthquake—fire; but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire—a soft murmuring sound. (13) When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his mantle about his face and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice addressed him: “Why are you here, Elijah?”

  17. (ו) דִּרְשׁ֥וּ יְהוָ֖ה בְּהִמָּצְא֑וֹ קְרָאֻ֖הוּ בִּֽהְיוֹת֥וֹ קָרֽוֹב׃
    (6) Seek the LORD while He can be found, Call to Him while He is near.
  18. Note on the translation of Isaiah 55:6

    This translation agrees with the JPS three-volume English Tanach and the Hertz Pentatuch. The Stone Chumash substitutes 'when' for 'while.' The Living Torah (Aryeh Kaplan) reads: "Seek G-d while He is accessible; call upon him while He is yet near." The Haftarah Commentary (Plaut) reads: "Seek the Eternal while there is still time; call out while God is near."

  19. מכות כ״ד ב:ד׳-כ׳

    שוב פעם אחת היו עולין לירושלים כיון שהגיעו להר הצופים קרעו בגדיהם כיון שהגיעו להר הבית ראו שועל שיצא מבית קדשי הקדשים התחילו הן בוכין ור"ע מצחק אמרו לו מפני מה אתה מצחק אמר להם מפני מה אתם בוכים אמרו לו מקום שכתוב בו (במדבר א, נא) והזר הקרב יומת ועכשיו שועלים הלכו בו ולא נבכה אמר להן לכך אני מצחק דכתיב (ישעיהו ח, ב) ואעידה לי עדים נאמנים את אוריה הכהן ואת זכריה בן יברכיהו וכי מה ענין אוריה אצל זכריה אוריה במקדש ראשון וזכריה במקדש שני אלא תלה הכתוב נבואתו של זכריה בנבואתו של אוריה באוריה כתיב (מיכה ג, יב) לכן בגללכם ציון שדה תחרש [וגו'] בזכריה כתיב (זכריה ח, ד) עוד ישבו זקנים וזקנות ברחובות ירושלם עד שלא נתקיימה נבואתו של אוריה הייתי מתיירא שלא תתקיים נבואתו של זכריה עכשיו שנתקיימה נבואתו של אוריה בידוע שנבואתו של זכריה מתקיימת בלשון הזה אמרו לו עקיבא ניחמתנו עקיבא ניחמתנו:

    Another time, they were ascending to Jerusalem.When they came to Har haTzofim, they tore their clothes. When they reached the Temple Mount, they saw a fox emerging from the place of the Holy of Holies. They started to cry, but Rabbi Akiva was laughing. The other sages said to him, Why are you laughing? He said to them, Why do you weep? They replied The place about which was written (Numbers 1,51) "and the non-Kohen that draws near shall be put to death", is now a haunt of foxes and we should not weep!? He replied That is why I laugh. It is written (Isaiah 8,2) "and I will take unto Me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Yeberechiahu." Now what was the connection between Uriah and Zechariah? Uriah was during the period of the First Temple, and Zechariah was during the period of the Second Temple. Rather, the verse was making the prophecy of Zechariah dependent on the prophecy of Uriah. Regarding Uriah, it is written, (Micah 3,12) "Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed etc." Regarding Zechariah it is written (Zechariah 8,4) "There shall yet old men and old women sit in the broad places of Jerusalem. Until the prophecy of Uriah was fulfilled, I was afraid that the prophecy of Zechariah would likewise be unfulfilled. Now that the prophecy of Uriah was fulfilled, I know that the prophecy of Zechariah will be fulfilled. In this way they answered him, Akiva, you have consoled us. Akiva, you have consoled us.

  20. Comment on Makot 24b
    The others see a fox and are reminded of the desolation of Jerusalem. Akiva sees a fox and perceived the fulfillment of prophecy. (AS) 

  21. שבת ל` ב

    ותו יתיב רבן גמליאל וקא דריש עתידים אילנות שמוציאין פירות בכל יום שנאמר (יחזקאל יז, כג) ונשא ענף ועשה פרי מה ענף בכל יום אף פרי בכל יום ליגלג עליו אותו תלמיד אמר והכתיב אין כל חדש תחת השמש א"ל ל ואראך דוגמתם בעולם הזה נפק אחוי ליה צלף

    Shabbat 30b

    On another occasion R. Gamaliel sat and lectured, Trees are destined to yield fruit every day, for it is said, and it shall bring forth boughs and bear fruit: just as the boughs [exist] every day, so shall there be fruit every day. But a certain disciple scoffed at him, saying, but it is written, 'there is no new thing under the sun!' Come, and I will show you its equal in this world, replied he. He went forth and showed him the caper bush.

  22. Comment on Shabbat 30b
    Although the context is Gamliel's answer to a fool, this appears to be an example of Heschel's concept of radical amazement. Gamliel looks at the natural world and sees signs of redemption. The world is brimming with the secrets of creation and hints of redemption. (AS)

  23. Menachem Mendel of Kotzk (the Kotzker) – From S. Raz, The Sayings of Menachem Mendel of Kotzk*

    “The one who does not see The Place [God as Place] in every place, will not see him in any place.

     

    *As quoted in The Inner Palace: Mirrors of Psychospirituality in Divine and Sacred Wisdom Traditions, Mitchell D. Ginsberg; translated from the original Hebrew, Kokhav haShachar, Amorot Rabi Menachem Medle of Kotzk

  24. Martin Buber, For the Sake of Heaven

    One time, said Bunham, I was going to Danzig, a timber merchant asked me to take his son along, who was to transact business for him there, and requested me to keep an eye on the young man. One evening I could not find him in our inn. So I strolled the street until I came to a house from which I heard piano-playing and singing. I went in. When I entered, a song had just been finished and I saw the son of the timber merchant enter an inner door. 'Sing the most beautiful song you know,' I said to the woman who had been singing and I gave her a coin. Thereupon she sand a song so enchanting that none who heard it would want to miss a single tone, No sooner had she begun than the inner door opened again and the young man came back. I approached him. 'You are wanted at the inn,' I said to him. 'Come with me at once.' He came with me without asking who wanted him; nor did he ask when we reached the inn. We played cards for awhile, and then went to bed. Next day he would not budge from my side. That evening I took him to a theater. After coming back I recited a psalm. He asked me to recite another and still another, and in the midst of reciting he burst into tears. Later on he became a disciple of the Maggid of Kosnitz. On that occasion, in that whoring house, I learned that the Shechinah can occupy all places, and that it is for us to serve wherever it is found.

  25. Juliet I. Spitzer, MSEd., Dignity in Life, Dignity in Death: One Perspective on the Chevra Kaddisha

    “There have been many occasions when we who are performing a tahara have a collective, shared awareness of some tangible shift of energy in the room. We discover afterwards, when we are returning to our cars and winding down, that others in the room had noticed this at the exact same time that we felt it. This has been described by various members as ‘feeling as if the neshama, the soul left the body’ or ‘the neshama was hovering and finally was released.’ To experience this together binds us in ways that defy description. Together, the women of the chevra kaddisha indeed form not only a ‘Holy Society’ but a ‘Society of Shared Secrets.’ And I realize the blessing of seeing God in the faces of those with whom I share this task.” (http://ritualwell.org/ritual/dignity-life-dignity-death-one-perspective-chevra-kaddisha)

  26. The Relationship Between Prayer and Holiness

  27. ברכות י׳ א:ע״ב-ע״ט
    הני חמשה ברכי נפשי כנגד מי אמרן דוד לא אמרן אלא כנגד הקב"ה וכנגד נשמה מה הקב"ה מלא כל העולם אף נשמה מלאה את כל הגוף מה הקדוש ברוך הוא רואה ואינו נראה אף נשמה רואה ואינה נראית מה הקב"ה זן את כל העולם כלו אף נשמה זנה את כל הגוף מה הקב"ה טהור אף נשמה טהורה מה הקב"ה יושב בחדרי חדרים אף נשמה יושבת בחדרי חדרים יבא מי שיש בו חמשה דברים הללו וישבח למי שיש בו חמשה דברים הללו:
    These five "Bless the Lord, O my soul" — with reference to whom did David compose them ? He composed them with reference to none other than the Holy One, blessed be He, and the soul. As the Holy One, blessed be He, fills the whole world, so also the soul fills the whole body. As the Holy One, blessed be He, sees but cannot be seen, so also the soul sees but cannot be seen. As the Holy One, blessed be He, nourishes the whole world, so also the soul nourishes the whole body. As the Holy One, blessed be He, is pure, so also the soul is pure. As the Holy One, blessed be He, dwells in the inmost part [of the Universe], so also the soul dwells in the inmost part [of the body]. Let him in whom are these five qualities come and praise Him Who possesses these five qualities.
  28. (א) הַמִּתְפַּלֵּל צָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּכַוֵּן בְּלִבּוֹ פֵּרוּשׁ הַמִּלּוֹת שֶׁמּוֹצִיא בִּשְׂפָתָיו; וְיַחֲשֹׁב כְּאִלּוּ שְׁכִינָה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ; וְיָסִיר כָּל הַמַּחְשָׁבוֹת הַטּוֹרְדוֹת אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁתִּשָּׁאֵר מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ וְכַוָּנָתוֹ זַכָּה בִּתְפִלָּתוֹ; וְיַחֲשֹׁב כְּאִלּוּ הָיָה מְדַבֵּר לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּשָׂר וָדָם הָיָה מְסַדֵּר דְּבָרָיו וּמְכַוֵּן בָּהֶם יָפֶה לְבַל יִכָּשֵׁל, קַל וָחֹמֶר לִפְנֵי מֶלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הָקָּבָּ''ה שֶׁהוּא חוֹקֵר כָּל הַמַּחְשָׁבוֹת. וְכָךְ הָיוּ עוֹשִׂים חֲסִידִים וְאַנְשֵׁי מַעֲשֶׂה, שֶׁהָיוּ מִתְבּוֹדְדִים וּמְכַוְּנִין בִּתְפִלָּתָם עַד שֶׁהָיוּ מַגִּיעִים לְהִתְפַּשְּׁטוּת הַגַּשְׁמוּת וּלְהִתְגַּבְּרוּת כֹּחַ הַשִּׂכְלִי, עַד שֶׁהָיוּ מַגִּיעִים קָרוֹב לְמַעֲלַת הַנְּבוּאָה. וְאִם תָּבֹא לוֹ מַחְשָׁבָה אַחֶרֶת בְּתוֹךְ הַתְּפִלָּה, יִשְׁתֹּק עַד שֶׁתִּתְבַּטֵּל הַמַּחְשָׁבָה. וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיַּחֲשֹׁב בִּדְבָרִים הַמַּכְנִיעִים הַלֵּב וּמְכַוְּנִים אוֹתוֹ לְאָבִיו שֶׁבַּשָּׁמַיִם, וְלֹא יַחֲשֹׁב בִּדְבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶם קַלּוּת רֹאשׁ. הַגָּה: וְיַחֲשֹׁב קֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה בְּרוֹמְמוּת הָאֵל יִתְעַלֶּה וּבְשִׁפְלוּת הָאָדָם, וְיָסִיר כָּל תַּעֲנוּגֵי הָאָדָם מִלִּבּוֹ (הר''י רֵישׁ פֶּרֶק אֵין עוֹמְדִין). וְאָסוּר לְאָדָם לְנַשֵּׁק בָּנָיו הַקְּטַנִּים בְּבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, כְּדֵי לִקְבֹּעַ בְּלִבּוֹ שֶׁאֵין אַהֲבָה כְּאַהֲבַת הַמָּקוֹם בָּרוּךְ הוּא (בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב סי' קס''ג וַאֲגֻדָּה פ' כֵּיצַד מְבָרְכִין).

    (1) One who prays needs to intend in their heart the meaning of the words which are coming out of their mouth. They should think as if the Divine Presence is before them, and remove all distracting thoughts from themselves, until their thoughts and intention are pure in their prayer. And one should think, if they had to compose one's words before a king of flesh and blood, how they would prepare the words and say them with great intention, without any stumbling, hence [one should do this] all the more so before the King of kings, the Holy One of Blessing, He who sees all thoughts. And so did the pious ones and the mystics, who secluded themselves and concentrated on their prayers until they achieved the falling away of their corporeality and the enhancement of the strength of their consciousness, until they came close to the level of prophecy. And if another thought comes to one in the midst of prayer, they should be silent until it is nullified. And one should think about things that humble the heart and direct it to one's Father in Heaven, and not think about things that make one light-headed. Gloss: Before prayer, one should think about the exalted loftiness of Hashem and the lowliness of humankind, and remove all human pleasures from their heart. And it is forbidden for people to kiss their small children in synagogue, in order to fix in one's heart that there is no love like the love of the Infinite.

  29. R' Joseph Albo, Sefer Halkkarim Ch. 18
    "Influence comes down from above when the recipient is in a certain degree and state of preparation to receive them. And if a person does not prepare himself he withholds the good himself."

  30. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Exaltation, G-d and Redeeming the Aesthetic

    “It is impossible to imagine prayer without, at the same time, feeling the nearness and greatness of the Creator. His absolute justice, His Fatherly concern with human affairs, His anger and his wrath caused by unjust deeds. When we bow in prayer we must feel His soothing hand, and the infinite love and mercy for His creatures. We cling to Him as a living G-d, not as an idea, as abstract being. We are in His company and we are certain of His sympathy. There is in prayer an experience of emotions which can only be produced by direct contact with G-d.”

  31. A.J. Heschel – Man’s Quest for G-d

    “To pray is to become a ladder in which thoughts mount to G-d, to join the movement to Him which surges throughout the entire universe.”

     

    “Great is the power of prayer. For to worship is to expand the presence of G-d in the world. G-d is transcendent, but our worship makes Him immanent.”

  32. Rabbi Samuel Dresner – Prayer, Humility and Compassion

    It is the loss of the sense of wonder in our own time that has impoverished our ability to pray.
  33. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – The Koren Siddur

    “G-d’s blessings flow continuously, but unless we make ourselves into a vessel for them, they will flow elsewhere. Prayer is the act of turning ourselves into a vehicle for the Divine.”

  34. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks – The Koren Machzor

    “In prayer we speak to a presence vaster than the unfathomable universe yet closer to us than we are to ourselves: the G-d who listens and cares, loves and forgives.”

  35. Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo – Siddur Nehalal beChol

    "Modern man lacks the vocabulary to say what is in his heart. The prayerbook saved man's life just in time, before he suffered spiritual death."

  36. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi – Jewish with Feeling

    “We are asking the mind to understand that there are some things the mind cannot do. We cannot think our way to G-d. We cannot reach G-d by a safe step-by-step process.”

  37. Special Thanks

    Thanks to all who've contributed sources and ideas: Rabbi Gail Diamond, Cantor Evan Kent, Rabbi Dov Laimon, Rabbi David Levin-Krus, Rabbi Bob Carroll, Rabbi Nina Mizrahi, Rivkah Moriah, Karl Malachut, Yehudah Goldberg, Judith Offman, Mary Margaret Rubenstien, Anita Saltzman Silvert and Haim Watzman.

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