Saturday, October 13, 2007

Today's Service: What I Learned

Instead of doing a sermon today, the Rabbi opened up the floor for a question and answer session.  One of the congregants asked about when we should bow during a certain prayer.  She said that she had done some reading, and it seemed like the people at our synagogue never bowed at the "right" time.  Granted, she was reading an Orthodox book, and our congregation is Reform, but that didn't explain the difference.

The Rabbi said that it didn't matter.
The answer to her specific question was that it is more important why you bow, then when.
And then he said something that I really found valuable:
"If you leave the service a better person than you were when you walked in, then the prayers worked."

Powerful stuff.  The whole point is not that you do it correctly, it's that you learn and grow as a human being, becoming wiser, more compassionate.  No ritual can make that happen; it can only prepare you to allow it to happen.

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