Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Elul 14: Translating the Self

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once penned the following (in Man's Quest for God):

"Ultimately the goal of prayer is not to translate a word but to translate the self; not to render an ancient vocabulary in modern terminology, but to transform our lives into prayers."

Tefillah is meant to be a transformative experience. All the more so during the month of Elul, as we introspectively prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the words of prayer should help us judge ourselves and translate the teshuvah / repentance process into words.

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