Tag Archive for ‘Prayer’

Broken-hearted Prayer

So many dead in racial violence in one short, chaotic American week. Dear Lord. Dear Lord. Whose heart isn’t breaking? Some people know exactly how to respond – but I don’t. As a religious and spiritual person, I’m moved to pray. But is prayer an effective response to crisis? Of course it depends what kind of prayer we have in mind. Praying a traditional synagogue liturgy of peace with special […]

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To Infinity and Beyond

Solomon Ibn Gabirol A Jew raised in Muslim Spain 11th century   Known to Jews as a literary artist a liturgical poet of wild imagination and skill   Known to Muslims as a philosopher in the Neo-Platonic tradition able to put the subtlest metaphysical intuitions into a single word   Solomon Ibn Gabirol Likely the author of Adon Olam   You know Adon Olam, The last song of the Shabbat […]

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A Divine Hug

“People from the United Church of Canada like to hug,” said my friend B. I filed this random fact away under Important Information. Little did I know it would soon come in handy. A few days later, I received an email invitation: Might I facilitate a women’s retreat for West Vancouver United Church? The women would love to learn with a woman rabbi. Certainly, I said, and we set up […]

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Who’s the Ladder?

A human is a ladder planted on earth whose head reaches heaven and the angels of God ascend and descend in him. — Rabbi Israel Ba’al Shem Tov, aka the Besht (1700-1760), Kabbalist Our Biblical ancestor Jacob dreams of a ladder, planted on earth and reaching to heaven, with angels of God ascending and descending. As the Besht sees it, the dream shows Jacob a first glimpse of his spiritual life. […]

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Spiritual Intercessor

At a Jewish funeral, you might hear the prayer, “May she (or he) be a melitz yosher for her family.” Literally, melitz yosher means “ambassador of righteousness,” but in colloquial English it means, “spiritual intercessor.” A spiritual intercessor is someone who prays on behalf of another person. There are many different ways to pray on behalf of another person. You can challenge God’s decisions, you can ask for mercy and […]

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