Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who is Your Davening Mentor?

I came across an article by Rabbi Shumely Boteach in the Times of Israel about Eli Wiesel's Healing Jewish Spirit.  Having heard Boteach speak publicly before I was certainly expecting a more controversial approach to whatever topic he was going to address.  In this article he rather brings out a different aspect to Nobel Peace Prize winner Eli Wiesel. The article propelled me to think of who I want to ask about their relationship to davening and Hashem.

Boteach writes:

Once I asked him, “Did you lose your God after the Holocaust.” He answered, “God was my friend as a boy. I was a young Chassid, and God accompanied me everywhere. And for a time, after the war, I did not wish to have a relationship with Him. But He never left me completely, and now He is back fully in my life. But the relationship has changed. I have a right to assert my place. It is now more a rapport, not of equals, of course, but of two parties with a real and painful dialogue.”

As adults, how did each of us develop to be the soulful and purposeful people we strive to be?  I revel in this question every time I go to a minyan of mostly older people who have logged decades of rising early in the morning to shul to keep the relationship and commitment going forward.  We are stuck in the sandwich generation, between the great ones and the young ones - trying to find the proper ways to continue the traditions, for their own benefit and for greater mission of the Jewish people.

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