Saturday, August 24, 2013

#blogElul 18: pray

Each night, we say the words of Shema with our children.
Even the youngest, at 2 years old, can say the words.
Does he know what he is saying? No. But I teach him the words.
So he can say them.
So he can begin to make them a part of himself.

Our tradition says that we should pray in whatever language is comfortable.
I have always found Hebrew to bring me comfort.

Since Sam got sick, we sing the Mi Sheberach prayer, as interpreted by Debbie Friedman, each night.
It's in Hebrew and English.
We've also added Hashkiveinu, as set by Steve Brodsky and others (sung here by my bosom friend, Rebecca Schorr)

They all know the words.
They sing them.
Do they know what they are saying?
Because of those English words....yes. They do.
I can't tell you how many conversations have popped up, unsolicited, at all hours of the day, with questions about the words.
"What is 'lives a blessing'?"
"Why do we need to learn 'wrong from right'?"
"We have shelter. Why do we ask for more?"

The questions, the conversations, the discussions...these are the prayer.
They learn the words, they sing and speak the words.
But they feel them, they breathe them, they live them.
They make them a part of themselves.

May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable to You, O God.

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I'll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation... I will be blogging here, and sharing #Elulgram photos on the same themes at Follow me on twitter @imabima for all the #BlogElul posts, not only mine but others' as well! This year, I'm not doing a linky or anything like that -- I'm conserving energy! So be sure to tag your posts on Twitter and Facebook so I can catch them with my alerts....

1 comment:

Batya said...

Yes, prayer must be taught at the youngest age. May G-d agree to give what you're praying for.