Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ani (lo) maamin

Speaking of paying attention to what I'm saying when I'm praying . . .


Let's take it from the top, folks.

" . . . u'meivi goel, He will bring a redeemer . . ."

I don't believe.

" . . . m'chayei hameitim, He restores life to the dead . . ."

I don't believe.

" . . . rofei cholei amo Yisrael, Who heals the sick of his people Israel."

Well, like chicken soup, it can't hurt, but why only the Jewish ill?

"V'hasheiv et ha-avodah li-d'vir beitecha, restore the (sacrificial) service to (d'vir means what, exactly?) Your house . . ."

I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in the restoration of the sacrificial system. Personally, I think prayer is a great improvement.

Not to mention, leaving the Amidah aside for the moment, the infamous (for someone who still has half a foot in the Reconstructionist Movement) ". . . asher bachar banu . . . , who has chosen us . . ."

Nope, I'm not big on the Chosen People concept, either.

So much for perfect faith.

As my first rabbi in New York advised, if I can't believe, I consider it a quote and say it anyway, out of respect for my ancestors. Sorry, but that's the best I can manage.


Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

I don't think רופא חולי עמו ישראל excludes non-Israelites; it's just speaking particularly about Israelites, in this Israelite context.

For comparison, there's the end of Asher Yatzar:
רופא (חולי) כל בשר ומפליא לעשות

"who heals (the sick(ness) of) all flesh, and acts wonderously"

Thu Apr 12, 02:19:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

"I don't think רופא חולי עמו ישראל excludes non-Israelites; it's just speaking particularly about Israelites, in this Israelite context."

Hmm, maybe so.

Thanks for pointing out that Asher Yatzar is universal. Judaism at its best tends to be a blend of the universal and the particular. Some of us just need to be reminded of that, occasionally.

Thu Apr 12, 03:15:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

On second thought, Steg, the fact that Asher Yatzar includes non-Jews doesn’t solve the problem. Two blogs and one name ago, “Dilbert,” now blogging here (when he has a minute) under his real name, Noam, posted this about different types of brachot/blessings. I quoted one of Reuven Hammer’s descriptions of different varieties of brachot here. To make a long story short, the brachah “Asher Yatzar et ha-adam b’chochmah, Who fashioned the human in wisdom,” which is universal, probably falls under the category of shevach, praise. But the text of the brachah “r’faeinu, heal us” (in the Amidah), which is quite clearly a bakashah, a requested, is limited to Jews. The person praying must make a point of including non-Jews, which I do—it’s not in the written text.

Fri Apr 13, 11:23:00 AM 2007  

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