Saturday, August 6, 2011

Of an auf ruf and the Jesus Prayer

The Western Wall in Jerusalem

A what? An auf ruf: literally "calling up" in Yiddish. In liberal Judaism, the bride and groom chant the prayers before and after the reading of the Torah portion during Shabbat liturgy. My dear friends Steve and Sunny are to be married next week, so this morning was their auf ruf.

So, nu, what does this have to do with the Jesus Prayer? Well, basically nothing, other than that I watched "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer" on DVD quite early this morning. It is breathtakingly beautiful. The deep faith of the monks and nuns touches me as well as what they had to say about how the prayer works in one's life.

For those who don't know, I am also a Jew by Choice, having undergone traditional conversion several years ago, and what a blessing. One never is cut off from being a member of the Jewish People after conversion since he or she becomes a member of the People first, then the spiritual tradition. Being in synagogue today touched me deeply with its familiar melodies, standing among my People as the Torah moved among us.

Two deeply moving experiences felt at soul level. The juxtaposition of them raises a lot of questions (told you I was Jewish!) about the nature of things. Who is Jesus: itinerant rabbi, perhaps the first Reform one at that, who came to renew his tradition and remove it from the moribund legalism of his day, or the incarnate Son of God? How does one authentically dance with the Beloved without making his or her tradition and its doctrine and theology into idols, instead of allowing them to point to that which is Mystery? What does it mean to walk with God; is religion even necessary? Do we, perhaps, give too much reverence to a Book written millenia ago, but then, if so, why is this contemplative moved so much when the Torah is removed from the ark or when he chants Psalms? Oy, what to do? Or, does anything have to be done? 

As one whose main spiritual practice is nonsectarian meditation, perhaps nothing needs doing. Seems like that's the best way to go for now, and let other things fall into or out of place as need be over time. Unlike a year ago when a dark night descended, the experience of G!d seems more real to me, but the particulars, not so much. My tendency is to want a solution wrapped neatly with a bow, and that never works with me!

So, no need to rush anything, but rather simply to experience the Beloved's ruach (breath, mind, spirit) as it flows through the treetops tickling the leaves and as it looks out at me as I look at you...


jetty said...

My dear Yossy,
wonderfull your writing.
For me "G'd, You can't put Him in a box. He Is so awesome, the moment you put G'd in a box,you take away the greatness and holiness to you Jetty

Yossi said...

Absolutely, my dear sister, Jetty!