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Silence by Sandy ChoukrounPosted by: Andrea Weiss on: 09/21/2009 Display from: 09/21/2009
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by Sandra Diamond Choukroun
How can we experience as a joy the silence we are about to share? How can we hear the voice of the shofar when it is silent?
Psalm 65 says, “To You, silence is praise, O God in Zion.” This is a surprising idea, since we usually think of praise as words or songs. After all, in our tradition, our daily acts are framed with prayers that begin aloud, “Praised are You Our God, Ruler of the Universe…”
Yet silence is very powerful. Today, on Shabbat, the silence can connect us with the world of Messiah: the world as it could be, in peaceful perfection, when no words impede the truth from filling every corner.
The silence can remind us of the dramatic moment right before that other shofar was blown on Mt. Sinai, and our people were united together with no discord.
The silence can call forth the secret name of God, perhaps a living breath that represents the miracle of life.
The silence can be a time for hearing those deeply personal thoughts that we can’t allow ourselves to hear at any other time.
The silence can allow us to know who our real selves are, and what it is about us that makes us unique in the eyes of God.
In the silence, we can lift our eyes and see, as Abraham saw the ram, that which is most precious to us in our short time in this world.
Let us now share a moment where we praise God, simply with the force of our spirits, with no sounds to distract us. It was at such moments as these that our prophets and tzaddikim saw…heaven.
Rosh Hashanah 5761 / September 30, 2000