Bless us all as one, Our Father,
with the Light of Your Presence,
Amidah Light
for in  the Light of Your Presence You give us…
a living Torah:
love of
kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life and peace.
(from the Amidah)

I’ve altered the English translation slightly:

Instead of “…gave us…” I used “…give us…”
Instead of “…Torah of life…” I used “…living Torah…”
I made “Torah” synonymous with the love of kindness, etc.

Torah is the demonstration of G-d’s Presence in the world.

Whatever the details, it’s their Source that’s of primary importance to us. Otherwise, it’s just another human teaching, regardless of how good or noble.

But that demonstration wasn’t only for one moment in history and one place in time.  It’s a living Torah. G-d is present always and everywhere.

What’s more, G-d’s Presence isn’t simply a concept. It’s a personal experience.

Yogis call that experience “sat-chit-ananda” — Truth-Awareness-Bliss.

They combine three Sanskrit words into one, because the experience is ultimately indivisible.

Transcending our worldly concerns, even our thoughts themselves, we experience the truth of being alive:

“When we give ourselves up to the contemplation of G-d, our soul takes us into a region beyond our present physical world…We transcend, we go beyond the limitation of finite thought, and we draw therefrom power, strength and wisdom…If we have been nervous, tense or worried, we can, in a few minutes, cause ourselves to become calm…It is a deliberate and conscious change from our daily thinking to a communication with the infinite, through our soul…It has been said that we can experience union with something larger than ourselves, a sense of oneness with the power beyond…in that union, we shall find our greatest contentment and peace. That union we make and can experience only through our soul.” [1]

We can also experience Light.

Not as a “symbol” or “concept.” An actual Light.

And Joy.

A Joy that washes away every mote of worry, fear, and sadness.

Immersed in You,
anger, fear and sorrow vanish
sea-spray on hot sand;
shadows caught careless
in inescapable light. [2]

Sometimes Joy and Light and Peace are felt together.

Often, we, not yet spiritually mature, feel each separately.

As we grow, we feel them more as one.

G-d’s Light can seem to come upon us like G-d’s fire came upon the altar:

“Fire came out from G-d’s Presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar.” [3]

But G-d’s Light, with kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life and peace, is the Divine in all. It’s our own higher Self.

So, we pray that this same Light, and Joy and Peace be revealed in all hearts.

No sane heart would trade the beautiful Presence of G-d for fear and hatred and worry.

Affirming this for others, we open ourselves to It, too.

There can be no truly just, peaceful world without It.


[1] Schwartz, Charles and Bertie; Faith through Reason; National Women’s League of the United Synagogue of America; 1946;  p. 28-9

[2] © 2014 by Rabbi Eli Mallon

[3] Vayikra/Lev. 9:24 (in parshah Sh’mi’ni)