Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wednesday Morning Kavvanah, 1/19/2011 - Shalom: Wish or Request?

The oft-repeated line, "Oseh shalom bimromav..." (May the One who makes peace on high make peace for us and for all Israel), which we find at the conclusion of every Amidah and many forms of the Qaddish prayer, is not really a baqashah, a request. There is a very specific form for the liturgical mode called baqashah, and this is not it.

However, we do say it frequently, and there is no question that we need peace - here in America, in Israel for certain, and throughout the world. Its role as a concluding thought in these prayers points to the centrality of this need.

And yet, we do not formally request peace of God; we simply wish that God will bestow it. I find this ironic - something that we need so desperately, and yet we do not simply come out and ask for it.

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