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"Can You Hear Me Now?"

07/27/2021 10:47:10 AM

Jul27

Chevre (Friends),

When I was still in seminary, I remember having my mind blown when one of my teachers shared a part of his "Jewish journey." He told a story of when he was so angry at G-d and didn't think that it was okay. He felt lost and didn't know what to do with his feelings. His whole theology was shaken and he did not see any way to save his relationship with HaShem ("The Name," a way of referring to The Source of All). It took a lot of courage for him to approach one of his teachers, and he shared his painful dilemma. Imagine his surprise, when his teacher said, simply, and with great compassion, "It's okay to be angry at G-d. It's okay to yell at G-d. Let G-d hear you...G-d can take it."

I was already a grown woman, a mother of two adult sons, and I had never heard of such a thing! But, then again, my relationship to Jewish practice had been centered on learning one ritual at a time, to try to feel some kind of a connection to G-d through ritual. I had taught myself how to leyn (read from) Torah, and how to chant haftarot, for the same reason. I felt, and still always feel, a special connection to my Judaism, when I leyn Torah, but it is mostly through the practice of what Rabbi Nachman of Breslov called "hitbodedut" (seclusion) when I feel most closely connected to HaShem.

Have you ever watched church services, during which people call out (loudly, with energy and passion), to G-d? It can be quite compelling, and quite moving!  I can only imagine such fervor in Jewish community prayer, as we know it, in suburban New Jersey. But, Jews can talk directly to G-d. YOU can talk directly to G-d. You don't have to use Hebrew, you don't have to know the special nusach (melodies unique to specific services). You can find a secluded place, at home, or ideally in nature, and start talking.

My teacher told us of a Jewish camp that had been given a donation of a red telephone booth, from London. The camp director had it placed far off, in a field. The idea was to let people find their way to the booth, pick up the unattached telephone, and start talking to G-d. 

G-d is waiting for your call, and there is no charge for long distance.

 

Wed, October 20 2021 14 Cheshvan 5782