This Shabbat I’ll be chanting from Beshallach, the Song of the Sea. A prayer, an expression of relief and gratitude. but before it the Eternal chastises Moses for telling the people to rely on God. “Mah titzak elai. Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward.”
I like this idea of action and prayer juxtaposed in this way. Rabbi Amy Eilberg, first woman to be ordained by the Conservative movement, writes her idea of prayer and it is interesting as we prepare for the Song/the Prayer of the Sea:
Prayer may work when the thing that we have asked of God indeed comes to be. That’s one way we pray…Prayer may also work by significantly connecting us with the Jewish community and with our tradition; It can work by quieting or centring the self. It can work by having momentary transporting us to a place of beauty and transcendence. It may work by helping us focus on the blessings in our lives. It may work by invoking a greater sense of God’s presence, giving us strength to face the trials of our lives.
What might it be for you? when is it time for action and when for prayer?
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