I don’t always pay attention. I know that often I am on automatic. I know that’s how I work and I don’t fret about it. That’s one of the elements that draws me to the writings of Eliezer Berkovitz, that we can forgive ourselves for not always being “on”, as long as we are aware of that fact. Being aware, I think, is the first step to making the steps towards action.
So what brings this up?
The story of Purim, for one. This is a great account of action and inaction, and waiting for action. (No, I don’t have Iran on my mind. Much.) Think about it. Esther gets put into this queenship thing not of her doing. She then refuses to have the full treatment of beauty stuff, and yet is called beautiful by all, pleasing to the eye. She doesn’t act, doesn’t act, and is told to act. And her action is to wait and wait and then act.
It’s all timing, in other words.
So I’m going to talk about Shabbat now.
Last week, before I lit candles, I had an overwhelming emotional connection to what I was doing. This is unusual, to say the least, since right before Shabbat, I’m usually overwhelmed just getting to the finish line, as much time as there is beforehand. That’s just the nature of the beast, so to speak.
I am drawn to the prayer that I have been saying for so many years in addition to the blessing for candle lighting.
May it be Your will, Lord my God and God of my fathers, to be gracious to me (and to ISHI, my sons, my daughters, my father, and my mother) and to all my family; grant us and all Israel good and long life; remember us for good and blessing; consider us for salvation and compassion; bless us with great blessings; make our household complete, and may You cause Your Divine Presence to dwell among us. Make me worthy to raise learned children and grandchildren, who are wise and understanding, who love and fear God, people of truth, holy and attached to God, enlightening the world with Torah and goodness and service of our Creator. Please hear our prayers, in the merit of our matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, and ensure that the glow of our lives will never be dimmed. Shine Your face upon us and we will be redeemed. Amen.
I wrote about buying this plaque here a long time ago (wow–almost 3 years!). You can look at it, if you want.
I’m thinking that it’s not magical thinking to ask G-d to continue giving us the blessings that we’ve already received–it’s foolish to think that we automatically deserve them.