Tag Archives: Amidah

Prayer in the Midst of Bullets and Bombs

Decades ago, Yehuda Amichai wrote about the diameter of a bomb — thirty centimeters, with circles of pain outward from its center. (English here). Similarly, every bullet leaves pain in circles rippling outward. We also know that kindness has a ripple effect, and many people think prayer works this way, too. The 20th Century rabbi […]

Stumbling Blocks Before Us All (Beyond 24)

“Do not put a stumbling-block before the blind.” This commandment prohibits anything that “gives the means, or prepares the way for wrong,” according to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (see Carmi Wisemon’s essay at My Jewish Learning). There are so many ways in which language can “give the means, or prepare the way for wrong.” And […]

Prayers on the Makeshift (Beyond 23)

In his masterpiece of prose poetry, Chicago: City on the Make, Nelson Algren wrote: …All the creeds that persecution harassed out of Europe find sanctuary on this [Chicago] ground, where no racial prejudice is permitted to stand up. We insist that it go at a fast crawl, the long way around. The Negro is not […]

“Only to the whole world” (Beyond 22)

Is the call “No Justice, No Peace” a threat or a prayer? “encapsulation of the lex talionis, an eye for an eye,” as Pat Buchanan says? a a statement of fact? This commentary on the Sim Shalom, the closing blessing and prayer for peace, at the end of the Amidah [Standing Prayer] discusses the Barcheinu […]

Heavy Heart in Hand (Beyond 21)

A story is the easiest, and, I hope, clearest, way for me to convey this thought to open the week of Netzach [“eternity,” also leadership] in the omer journey away from oppression. (apologies for length) At this morning’s worship service, Temple Micah‘s Rabbi Zemel pointed participants’ attention to the following note, a kavanah [focusing intention] […]