Ramblings on the Jewish Daily Prayer book


So, I try to get to services at least once/week.  I enjoy the prayerbook very much.  I think this is fairly unusual experience for many people, so I thought I would write about different prayers and how I interpret them and what I find in them.  I am really very liberal: if you are on the traditional/orthodox end of the spectrum, you probably won't find much satisfaction with what I've written, but if you are curious about how and why some people enjoy going to services so much, I would like to share some of my experiences.

Today I prayed for the Shechinah to return to Zion.  I pray this every service.  The Shechinah is another name for the Divine; it's consider a feminine essence.  Zion is Jerusalem.  Today as I prayed this, instead of thinking of it as a top-down transformative appearance, sort of like a Messiah showing up in Jerusalem as someone did a couple thousand years ago, I thought, what if this means a feeling of peace and love for others (Others) comes to people who live in Zion.  The Torah tells us umpteen times to love and care for the stranger, the person other than yourself.  What if the Shechinah was manifest in Zion as people tentatively, and then more strongly, reaching out to people other than themselves.

Sort of like, what is tentatively happening in the US where lots of people who are not LGBT are realizing that the people who are LGBT are perfectly fine, lovely people they'd like to have more contact with in their life.  (Not everyone is doing this, but many people, even the President? are doing this in the US right now).

So, as I pray for the Shechinah to return to Zion, this is a prayer for people in Zion, Jerusalem, Israel, the Middle East, to find the spirit within themselves to extend open arms to people they consider their political (or even actual war) enemies. 

One person working for this vision of the Shechinah returning to Zion is Ron Kronish.  Let's see if I can remember how to put in a link in a blog post.

Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel  http://english.icci.org.il/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=141

Anyway, peace out.  Or Shalom,