Thursday, April 12, 2007

HaShem, close my lips

". . . v'limkal'lai nafshi tidom, and to those who insult/curse me, let my soul be silent" (from Elokai N'tzor, after the Amidah).

I'm tired. Tired of insulting people and tired of being insulted. That's one of the reasons why I'm spending so much time praying at Ansche Chesed--it seems I'm always getting myself into some argument or the other at my local synagogue. I confess that much of my problem has come about because of my own arrogance--I didn't endear myself to my fellow (and, especially, sister) congregants by being publicly disrespectful to our current rabbi. Never mind that he and I will never see eye to eye on much of anything--there's simply no excuse for being obnoxious. I did apologize to him before Yom Kippur and ask for his forgiveness, but I think it was too little, too late. I now have an unfortunately-well-deserved reputation for rudeness which, added to my minority perspective on women's participation in synagogue ritual, has made me feel even less welcome now than I felt three or four years ago.

So I'm trying to see whether just learning to shut up and take whatever grief people care to dish out to me, or, perhaps, not taking some of the "insults of the moment" so much to heart, will improve my perspective, not to mention my reputation. A couple of days ago, I got up on the bima and led Ashrei for the first time since the "gunfight at the OU corral." One of the women who'd given me grief on that occasion was not there (which is one of the reason why I was finally persuaded to volunteer), but the other one was, and I was pleasantly surprised when she shook my hand afterward. There's something to be said for silence, and letting trouble die down, rather than stirring it up.

". . . to those who insult me, let my soul be silent." This is another prayer that I must learn to take not only seriously, but, perhaps, sometimes, depending on the circumstances, literally, as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest looking in a sefardi siddur. They have an additional paragraph(in Eloki nitzor lishoni m'ra) that is also very on point.


Tue Apr 24, 03:53:00 PM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ah, here it is, in the ArtScroll Nusach S'fard purchased for just such comparative-minhagim (custom) research:

"May it be Your will, Hashem, my G-d and G-d of my 'ancestors' [my edit], that human jealousy may not rise up against me, nor my jealousy upon others; may I not become angry today, and may I not anger You. Rescue me from the Evil Inclination, and place in my heart submissively and humility."

Nicely said. Thanks for the tip, Noam.

Tue Apr 24, 08:17:00 PM 2007  

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