Posts Tagged ‘prayer’
A young man whose soul loves to fly in the sky even when his body is grounded found he can integrate both in a Torah-observant lifestyle.
Benad Even-Chen, 27, was not a “religious” Jew when he began to explore his roots in late adolescence. He was, however, a semi-pro skier, cello player and skateboard fiend.
By the age of 20 the restless young man was still searching, however, and began to head towards a Torah way of life.
Today Even-Chen is a student of Jewish learning at a Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva in Israel. And he can be seen flying around Jerusalem on his skateboard too, when he’s not jamming with other spiritual seekers on his cello.
Fave spots? The Old City of Jerusalem near the Tower of David, alongside the rampart walls, and in the “newer” part of the capital in the Mahane Yehuda open air market.
Even-Chen was caught by a camera on a special trip zooming down the market streets just before the Rosh HaShanah holiday this year, where he was spotted blowing a shofar for Jews who might not otherwise have had the chance to hear it. From his skateboard, of course.
Police arrested a Muslim on Sunday for trying to stir up unrest on the Tempe Mount where a group of Jews was visiting.
A riot erupted after calls of incitement by the Arab.
Another Muslim was detained earlier in the day for similar reasons.
Police also arrested a Jew for incitement, of a different form – he dared to pray on the holy site. That kind of “incitement” is reserved for Muslims, who pray for the destruction of Jews among other blessings requested from Allah.
The Supreme Court has questioned whether the discrimination against prayers by Jews, judiciously enforced by the police, is legal, but no one has yet been able to bring the issue for the judges to decide.
It is obvious why Muslims don’t want Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, believing perhaps that God will pay more attention to Jewish prayers said there instead of elsewhere, such as in Psalms 92, verses 7-8:
“A boorish man does not know; neither does a fool understand this. When the wicked flourish like grass, and all workers of violence blossom, only to be destroyed to eternity.”
Doctors are becoming increasingly concerned about one of the two IDF soldiers who suffered shrapnel wounds in Thursday’s rocket attack on the Eshkol Regional Council district.
The soldier, Mordechai Yamin, was admitted in moderate-to-serious condition at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, has now been moved to the Intensive Care Unit and is listed in serious-to-critical condition.
Surgeons worked through the night to remove fragments from his body but a sliver of shrapnel remains in his brain and doctors are hesitant to remove it due to the danger involved.
The public is asked to pray for the full and speedy recovery of Mordechai ben (son of) Bracha Yehudit.
An opinion recorded in the Talmud states that prayers correspond to the daily sacrifices offered in the Temple that are mentioned in this week’s portion (Berachot 26b, Numbers 28:4). It’s been argued that this opinion may be the conceptual base for our standardized prayer. Since sacrifices had detailed structure, our prayers also have a set text.
Why should this be? If prayer is an expression of the heart, why is there a uniform text we follow?
Rambam writes that after the destruction of the First Temple and the consequent exile of Jews to Babylonia and Persia, Jews found it difficult to pray spontaneously. Living among people who did not speak Hebrew, a new generation of Jews arose who no longer had the ability to use Hebrew as a means of articulating their inner feelings to the Almighty. Responding to this, Ezra and the Great Assembly introduced precisely formulated prayer (Rambam, Code, Laws of Prayer 1:1).
Here Rambam is arguing that standardization of prayer allows all Jews regardless of background and ability to express themselves and to be equal in the fraternity of prayer since the well-spoken and the least educated recite the same prayers.
Rambam may also be putting forth the idea that with the appearance of standardized prayer, Jews dispersed all over the world were united through a structured formula of praying.
Finally, Rambam echoes the Gemara, which states that Ezra designed the prayer service to correspond to the standard sacrificial service offered in the Temple. In following this view, Rambam may be suggesting that after the destruction of the First Temple the rabbis sought to promote religious procedures that would link Jews living after the First Temple era with those who’d lived during the time of the Temple. Elements of the Temple service were therefore repeated in some form in order to bind Jews to their glorious past.
The halacha indicates that structure should inspire spontaneity in prayer, but Rambam’s analysis reveals the importance of standardization. Through the set text all Jews are democratized. No matter our station in life, we all say the same words. And through standardization of text Jews scattered throughout the world are reminded to feel a sense of deep unity with their brothers and sisters everywhere and with their people throughout history.
Prayer helps bring about a horizontal and vertical unification of our people, a unification so desperately needed today.
Today’s class will be a quick one.
In the top half of the photo, we observe hundreds of religious Muslim women on the Temple Mount, cursing at Jews, and praising the kidnapping of 3 Jewish boys.
In the bottom half of the photo, we observe hundreds of Jewish women at the Kotel, crying and praying to God for the safe return of the 3 kidnapped boys.
If you understand the difference, give yourself an ‘A’.
Rabbi Yakov Adas, a Jerusalem Kabbalist, was hospitalized on Friday afternoon at Sha’ari Tzedek hospital, after collapsing, according to a report on Hadarei Hadarim.
The Rabbi has been fasting and praying all week long, ever since learning about the kidnapped boys, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar and Naftali Frankel.
The Rabbi was suffering from dehydration. His condition is now stable.