Monday, September 6, 2010

"Purify Our Hearts to Serve You in Truth"--Elul 27

Once again, within the eight words of this prayer, we find the inner and the outer, the heart and the deed, bound together. Not prayer or tzedakah.  Not ritual or ethics.  Both prayer and tzedakah is our refrain.

Once again, in this brief prayer, we find the individual bound up in the communal "our." 

Once again, in these words, we hear a call to do heshbon ha nephesh, to take an honest look at ourselves before the Creator and True Judge of All and ask ourselves, Whom are we serving? And are we serving for recognition, for ego, or "in truth"?

"Purify our hearts to serve You in truth."  A lifetime would not be enough to plumb the wisdom of these eight words. 

"Purify our hearts to serve You in truth."  When all other words fail you, lean on these as your prayer and repeat them ceaselessly.

"Purify our hearts to serve You in truth."  When your mind wanders during services, bring it back to center, back into communion, with these words of beauty and holiness.

"Purify our hearts to serve You in truth."

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