When the words of liturgy are taken too literally, the sacred power of prayer is often lost. In his latest book, Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman offers a way worshipers can transcend the limitations imposed by language.
Kol ha'Olam - the whole world was glued to Boston this week. The beautiful weekend, followed by an amazing race, with perfect running conditions. The only heartbreak, we thought, being the hills of Newton. Kol ha'Olam - the whole world gathered to cheer on world-class athletes, a world-class race course, with world-class fans. Kol ha'Olam - we know that in this whole world, we are not the only ones who face and fear tragedies like this and yet, Kol ha'Olam - it feels today in our whole world of Boston that we are under siege, and we are scared and we fear for our safety, for the safety of our loved ones, and for the safety of those we don't even know.
For many Jews, the Yom Kippur fast is one of the hardest and most meaningful Jewish acts they will perform during the year.
The hard work is behind us.
We prayed, chanted, cried, healed, remembered, re-aimed our arrows of good intentions toward the target of new priorities, and reflected on trying not to deflect.