Today is thirty-one days, which is four weeks and three days of the Omer. תפארת שבהוד, אמת שבהוד. Beauty of Splendor (Prayer), Truth of Splendor (Prayer).
For as long as I can remember, my soul has been transformed by Jewish prayer. Hebrew words, Jewish melodies, they have always been a balm. And I say this as someone who couldn’t translate a word of Hebrew until I started rabbinical school. For me, this is the essence of the beauty of prayer. When it speaks to you, enlivens you, transforms you beyond all the thinking.
Personal truth has been twisted and weaponized in US society. And yet, experienced truth, truth only you can know, is a deeper form of truth. Still, I feel the need to confirm that facts matter and verifiable truth, material reality, and reason should be the pillars of our communal secular discourse.
Our spiritual discourse is something else entirely. Religion succeeds by helping people give voice to the awe and reverence felt around life’s mysteries. Purpose and meaning can be found through religion, while they are often absent from scientific inquiry.
So let us sink into the possibility of uncovering deep truth through prayer. And let us revel in the beauty of intentional prayer and intentional communities of seekers.