Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Amen

When we pray, we pray in plural: forgive us, heal us, give us peace. Thinking on the other hand tends to be singular. When I was seventeen, my night Rebbe in yeshiva - Rabbi Mordechai Machlis suggested that our private Shmoneh Esrei is for ourselves and the prayer of the Shliach Tzibbur is for the klal. That being so, perhaps Chazarat HaShatz should be said slower, with more audience participation. One of the things I've learned from my seven months - so far - of saying kaddish is that the give and take of tefilah is underplayed. Brachot, kedusha, kaddish, are treated as private prayers of the one saying them aloud. They are meant to be public outcries followed by crowd responses. May it be G-d's will that we improve in our communal approach to prayer, and let us say...

2 Comments:

Blogger Miss Trudy said...

Losing a closely-related loved one is a wound like no other. It hurts deep and in a very subjective way. Perhaps that is why upon praying Kaddish one feels that the communal response is needed. That is, one feels supported and accompanied, in a way, by the group outcry. It is a private pain yet at the same time, a grief that required public acknowledgment, that others have also gone through this, that others share in it. I don't know. Kind of rambling, I guess, but your post has provided food for thought. Especially as a friend recently committed suicide and it was sad and bewildering to see the "silent" reaction of people, as if embarrassed or as if his death didn't deserve the same kind of grieving than others ... I was thinking, doesn't his mother grieve just the same and need the same kind of outpouring of sympathy? Like I said, I don't know. Just rambling thoughts.

July 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thank you so much for the comment Trudy. I am sorry for your loss. It's a tragic way to go, in some ways tragic like every other way - and in some ways different.

Jewish law today views it differently than once - views it as a disease that takes the person's life. I lost a dear friend to this illness, and know others who've lost people this way too. Sigh.

Your friend's mother and his friends and other loved ones deserve sympathy for their loss. They will need to process and grieve and need people to be there with them.

In theory kaddish is meant to be communal and responsive. Sadly it's often treated as a private manta mumbled by by the mourner and mostly ignored by others.

I really appreciate your visiting, reading, and commenting. I hope all is well with you and may you find comfort.

July 28, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

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