Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Kavvanah, 3/30/2011 - Stepping Out of Yourself

The Amidah (standing, silent tefillah) is on a higher level then other parts of the Jewish service. As such, it is customary to leave your regular self behind before beginning by taking three steps forward. (Many people also take three steps back first, so that they have room to take three steps forward, although it's the forward steps that are the essential choreography.) As such, we enter the court of the King (i.e. God) at the start of the Amidah.

I can think of many times that I would have liked to have left myself behind for a few minutes or a few months, but of course it is never so simple as simply taking three steps. However, the idea that we have the ability, even metaphorically, to step out of ourselves, suggests a certain control that many of us doubt that we actually have. Perhaps the physical and mental exercise of taking a few steps forward can bring that possibility closer to reality.

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