Thursday, April 12, 2007

Aiming a bit high, to say the least

As I said in the previous post, "The words found in our siddur (prayer book) . . . have the power to influence our thought patterns and/or behavior, if we let them, if we pay attention to what we're saying."

So how about this one:

" . . . u'k'doshim b'chol yom y'hal'lucha, sela, and holy ones every day laud You, sela." (Amidah)

Okay, you can say that the term "holy ones" refers to angels and the like (ofanim and chayot hakodesh, not to mention seraphim, whatever any of these terms means). But if you're not such a believer in angels and the like . . .

I'm stuck. Since I don't believe in angels, I haven't much choice but to apply this phrase to myself. "K'doshim," holy ones?? How on earth is a mortal being supposed to become a holy one??! Mitzvot bein adam l'Makom, commandments between a person and G-d (such as keeping kosher), are hard enough. But mitzvot bein adam l'chaveiro, commandments between a human and another human (chaveiro--his/her companion, friend, or, depending on context, study partner)? This year, I didn't even remember to give maot chitim (rough literal translation "wheat money," meaning a contribution to help the poor celebrate Passover)! How's a thoughtless, egocentric person like me supposed to achieve holiness? How am I supposed to live up to this statement?

By comparison, praying three times a day is easy.

I'm really going to have to work on this one.


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