Currently Browsing: prayer 10 articles

Stamp of Approval featured

Stamp of Approval

In the third of three poems, Bruce Black reflects on prayer. Do prayers receive a stamp of approval when they arrive in heaven? Maybe there’s an angel sitting at a desk reading each prayer, deciding which one gets passed on to God and which gets dismissed—tossed into the wastebasket to be shredded later— while those […]

yakov featured

Yizkor

In the second of three poems, Bruce Black reflects on Jewish prayer. Under the folds of my prayer shawl that I drape over my head before beginning to pray, I greet my parents, my grandparents, my uncles and aunts, imagining each embracing me again, holding me in their arms. Under the folds of my prayer […]

Where Prayer Comes From featured

Where Prayer Comes From

Prayer comes from a hidden reservoir deep within the heart, and words flow at times like a river in flood. The mystery is that you can pray at all, that your lips can form words, that you can find a way to reach out to God even if you question God’s existence and doubt anyone […]

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Shaddai

Mirushe ‘Mira’ Zylali reviews Loolwa Khazzoom’s new album. The Aramaic-language piyyut ‘Yah Ribbon “Alam”’ ends with a prayer for a restored Jerusalem. Written in the late 1500s by Rabbi Israel Najara, the then-rabbi of Gaza, it has been sung for four hundred years as a Shabbat hymn – that’s 21,000 Shabbatot. On Shabbat, God asks […]

no leaf featured

No Leaf Is Perfect

Eran Hornick is inspired by Shai Afsai’s poem ‘Forty-four’. In June of last year, my friend Dan and I drove to Maine to hike the renowned Mahoosuc Notch. It is famed by some to be ‘the hardest mile of the AT’ — the Appalachian Trail — and since it was within a four hours’ drive […]

prayer featured

Prayer

Bruce Black offers up four new poems on prayer. 1) Every day I listen Every day, dear God, I listen,wanting to hear Your voice— Just a word or two, even the soundof Your breath— Hoping for a sign that You arelistening to my prayer.__ 2) Your face is hidden Your face ishidden behinda cloud. When […]

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My Metal, My Judaism

Adam Kammerling reflects on metal, theatre and Judaism. The first song to move me to tears was the Avinu Malkeinu, as sung by the congregation of the Bristol and West Progressive synagogue. I was fifteen years old and it took me by surprise. It was the hyper-normative, mega-hetero, small-town, the early noughties. Boys couldn’t just […]

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Shtiebls Sans Frontieres

Sometime ago, before the ‘lockdown’,  I was talking to a United Synagogue Rabbi who was bemoaning the lack of younger people in Shul on a Friday night; I guessed by “younger” he meant under 60, but he was thinking about those in their 20s.   So, I told him they were all in their shuls.  SHULS!? he spluttered with incredulity.  Yes, shuls: […]

Religious services on Hendon’s streets featured

Auto-Generation: Religious services on Hendon’s streets

They have always been religious, they have always been rich, and I am welcome there. They don’t need anything from me, I don’t need anything from them. It’s Shabbos many months into coronavirus lockdown and because the dozen or so synagogues within a 15 minutes’ walk are closed, prayers are happening on my parents’ street – average age 60. Someone spoke to the […]

Davening during the Pandemic featured

Davening during the Pandemic

 I am a regular shul goer and wherever I am I try to attend services. On a Shabbat I’m usually in shul and on a Sunday morning at home in Leeds I head for the 8.00 a.m. minyan. The pandemic has put a stop to all that.   But since 22nd March 22, I have been a member of a virtual community led by the Reverend Albert Chait of the United Hebrew Congregation […]

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