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Speaking and Listening from the Heart

04/26/2019 02:47:51 PM


Hannah Orden

Each year I try to find meaning in the Counting of the Omer - the 7 weeks between Passover and Shavuot. In the Torah there is no explanation given for why we count these days. Later, the Rabbis decided that Shavuot celebrates receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai.

This year, Hayley Goldstein, a student at Hebrew College where I attended Rabbinical School created a beautiful little book for counting the Omer. She asked herself what stood in her way of receiving Torah, and her answer was "shame." The book she created gives prompts for each day to help us talk to God about our shame.

I have trouble talking to God because I don't believe in a personal/personified God. But I am giving it a try this year. There is something appealing about speaking from the heart and not just reciting fixed prayers. I am also intrigued by asking the question: What stands in the way of receiving Torah? It reminds me of a concept in Judaism that Sinai is not an event that happened once long ago and is over -- rather Sinai is always happening; God is always speaking. The only question is whether we are open to hearing.

These weeks between Passover and Shavuot can be a special time for reflection and spiritual growth. A good place to start might be to ask: What stands in my way of hearing God's voice in the world? Then use these days to speak from your heart and listen with your heart, and see what happens.

Fri, July 10 2020 18 Tammuz 5780