Monday, December 17, 2012

Hebrew Prayer of Mourning


Rabbi Shaul Praver, as stated in The Jewish Daily Forward "moved many to tears when he recited El Maleh Rachamim, a prayer of mourning."  I post it here and below for you to hear if you did not hear it last evening or to hear it again if you did.
 
It is a gorgeous chant sung magnificently by Rabbi Praver.  Judaism is my heritage.  Despite all the doubts I may have, in the final analysis, tears streamed down my face as the familiar sound of the chant, like many chants in the Jewish tradition, was sung in a sad minor key which found its way to pierce my heart.  It is a plaintive cry as we beg God to protect our loved one and, for me, offers a wish that a higher power somewhere hears our cry and heals our collectively broken hearts.
 
As a Jewish symbol of loss of the closest relatives we rent part of our clothing.  It is a representation that a piece of them was torn from us.  I symbolically do that to reflect that a part of OUR national family has been torn from us as well.
 
As was so beautifully said by all the clergy and so many others in Newtown, the nation and around the world we mourn those innocent dead as our own.
 

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