WELCOMING SHABBAT

SHABBAT IS MORE THAN A DAY OF REFRAINING FROM WORDLY ACTIVITY 
WHEN EXPERIENCED IN ITS SPIRITUAL FULLEST, ITS HOLINESS ENGLIGHTENS ALL OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK
WE INVITE YOU TO ENHANCE YOUR SHABBAT WITH THESE WORDS OF TORAH 

When the “I” is Silent

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by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l

…Less than prayer changes the world, it changes us. The Hebrew verb lehitpalel, meaning ‘to pray,’ is reflexive, implying an action done to one- self. Literally, it means ‘to judge oneself.’ It means, to escape from the prison of the self and see the world, including ourselves, from the outside. Prayer is where the relentless first person singular, the ‘I,’ falls silent for a moment and we become aware that we are not the centre of the universe. There is a reality outside. That is a moment of transformation.

 

…Sometimes it takes a great crisis to make us realise how self-centred we have been. The only question strong enough to endow existence with meaning is not, ‘What do I need from life?’ but ‘What does life need from me?’ That is the question we hear when we truly pray. More than an act of speaking, prayer is an act of listening – to what God wants from us, here, now. What we discover – if we are able to create that silence in the soul – is that we are not alone. We are here because someone, the One, wanted us to be, and He has set us a task only we can do. We emerge strengthened, transformed.”

 

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