Not Three Lonely Paths: “Reclaiming HaZedonot VeHaShegagot”

Rabbi Menachem Creditor
based on the original in Rabbi Samuel H. Dresner’s “Prayer, Humility, and Compassion”


A moment of prayer at a time of grief may break a proud heart. An unselfish act of love may take a person so out of herself that prayer will become possible. At what point God’s Love enters a person’s life and the course it may follow cannot be predicted, but of nothing should we be more certain that that it is continuously trying to break in upon us, to heal us, to visit us with comfort and compassion.

Prayer, humility, and compassion are three ways in which God enters the life of a person. They are not three lonely paths, each leading to its own end. They are connected one with the other, interacting constantly. For at the root of them all is God’s Love for all humanity.

The drama of receiving God’s Love and sharing it with others is surely the most profound action of human existence. But for that Love to enter at all, we must first raise the many heavy barriers to our heart and open our soul’s doors through prayer, humility, and compassion.

And so we pray:

God, love us for all we are,
in Your image,
Lonely like You.

Breathe with us, within us.
Open us, care with us.

You and us God,
We’ll forgive each other…

And we’ll try again.

Amen.

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