This post is a kind of commentary on my previous one.

My blog has allowed me to express my thoughts and, in some ways, to reveal my processes and preferences.

Sometimes, I lean more towards “scholarship” (a term I use humbly), simply trying to demonstrate traditional sources for ideas. At those times, my blog might be less readable than more popular-level writing. Not everyone wants to know or see the original quotations that can endorse a given point of view. Further, not everyone is as interested in the particular styles of traditional reasoning as I tend to be.

Other times, I try to be simpler and more lucid. It’s true, though, that what’s “simple and lucid” to me doesn’t always come through that way to everyone else! I was very surprised, for example, when a friend said to me some years ago, “Your blog isn’t for beginners.” I thought it was! Still, my greatest admiration is for the Jewish Science rabbis — Morris Lichtenstein, Alfred Geiger Moses and Clifton Harby Levy — who, I felt combined spiritual depth with very accessible prose. Much of the best Hasidic and Kabbalistic writing is inaccessible to the modern reader because of the obscurity of the style. The Jewish Science writers helped me understand the inspirational qualities of the more traditional spiritual writing.

I say all this because in my previous post, I extolled the value of prayer, based on traditional sources.

Re-reading the piece a few times, it seemed to me that in trying to find the actual sources, it became more of a “research” piece than an inspirational one.

It was meant to be both.

So, I’m using this post to say:

I believe that all of the problems we face today can be moderated with prayer.

Specifically, affirmative prayer and/or visualization.

As I wrote in an earlier piece, such prayer can have a good effect on the one praying, even if the effect on the circumstances isn’t immediately evident. We live in a time of fear and turmoil. Where do we turn for peace — at least a peaceful inner response to the disturbances we see?

“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]

All true prayer includes contemplation, or else it is just words.

But the rabbis were telling us — and we should listen to them carefully — that prayer does more than make us feel better.

It is always our greatest tool in facing whatever problems appear before us.

My purpose, then, is to urge us all to more and deeper prayer.

If not now, when?


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