Friday, September 15, 2017

1006. #BlogElul 16: Pray

I really do love to pray. As a kid, as I've written somewhere before in this blog, I never understood what the whole business was about. Adults murmured words to themselves in a strange language; then they sat down, mumbled some more, and did it all over again for a few hours. My father (and, I assumed, all men) engaged in this exercise at home before work, a tallit-draped silhouette standing by the window in my parents' Wedgwood-blue bedroom.

Whenever I tried the mumbling, or followed along with the English thees and thous, they were just words. God didn't answer. When I needed to talk to God, I did so in my heart and soul, with no hoary paragraphs getting in the way. I concluded that praying was an ability that people acquired as they became adults, like how to pay taxes or know when the eggs were about to run out.
Then I became an actual adult, and still couldn't do it. Singling in a choir felt like I was getting close, but the God I was addressing in the words of Bach and Brahms was, most of the time, a Christian one, which was very, very confusing.

When I stumbled upon my synagogue, and learned that my own tradition also had music and beautiful poetic translations that made a great deal of sense, prayer began to work. I hope and pray that I never stop learning.

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