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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 3/13/2020

I thought I knew our Reform prayer book pretty well. After all, we have been using Mishkan T’filah at Temple for over ten years.

Imagine my surprise when a member asked me if, before lighting the Shabbat candles, she could offer a reading on page 126 that states, “I begin with a prayer of gratitude for all that is holy in my life.”

I had no idea what she was talking about! I had never read that page because I was so habituated to a different reading before the candle lighting.

Turns out, this meditation on page 126 expresses hopeful affirmation. I am moved by its concluding verses: “To love God is to love each other, to work to make our lives better. To love God is to love the world God created and to work to perfect it. To love God is to love dreams of peace and joy that illumine all of us, and to bring that vision to life.”

Our siddur is a rich source of guidance and support. It is filled both with familiar prayers as well as nuggets of wisdom embedded in meditations and commentaries on most every page.

We can turn to our prayer book for spiritual sustenance and guidance. I am especially grateful that during this time of heightened anxiety because of the coronavirus, the Central Conference of American Rabbis has made Mishkan T’filah available online here.

The pagination will be different than we are accustomed to in our hardback edition. But I am sure that if you search well enough, you will find just what you are looking for.

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