PA to Liberal Judaism’s Senior Rabbi & Chief Executive
“Pray as if everything depended on God;
Act as if everything depended on you.
Who rise from prayer better people,
Their prayer is answered.”
Gates of Prayer, taken from Machzor Ruach Chadasha
I know that in the same year one can find themselves praying to God both in desperation during the worst moments in life, and in complete and utter awe at the wonder and privilege of being alive. You bless the beauty of the trees and the ocean, and pray for a prayer that would express your burning anger and frustration at the world.
Perhaps it is because the past year has brought so many changes to my life, not least starting to work for Liberal Judaism, and because the new Jewish/academic year will mean even more, that this Elul has been particularly powerful and reflective for me.
I have always seen prayer as a performative utterance, both as a form of action and leading to social justice, and this is continually reflected in our liturgy. However, these are always prayers for repairing the world, and sometimes we’re not in a position to do that until we’ve repaired ourselves.
So for 5777 I offer you this – a moment to reflect on the importance of the self and your place in the world; an opportunity to repent for the sins you have inflicted upon yourself and for your future actions to reflect this.
ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם שנתן לי הזדמנות לתקן את עצמי
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, ruler of the universe, for giving me the opportunity to repair myself
Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam, shenatan li hizdamnut l’takein et atzmi
* Adapted from the CCAR prayer for repairing the world
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