In Praise of Lingering

There are those who choose to linger in prayer, to break free from the pacing of public liturgy with its many chants and hymns. They will remain with a single blessing, phrase, word, or even a solitary syllable, embracing it, caressing it with tongue, clinging with soul to its inner lights, merging with it in joyous, silent song. These may prolong the ba- of barukh till the end of the last Amen.

Concerning these the Pious one said: “People do not pray to God. Prayer is God.”

And there are those who need to pause during the study of sacred text, to break free from the tempo of turning pages and the quick, dialogic to-and-fro of  academies. They will reflect lovingly and slowly on the holy script till “reader, reading and written are one.” These may still ponder on the appropriate timing of the evening Shma’ while their companions are debating the impurities that attach to honeycombs.

 Concerning these the Mystic hinted: “The Holy One, Torah and Israel are One.”

And there are those who without sound will call upon H’s holy name again and again and again.

Concerning these the Psalmist exclaimed: “I shall sing to your name Most High.”

@2012 Jonathan Omer-Man