Sunday, August 19, 2012

#BlogElul Return

I am fortunate enough to live in an area with minimal "light pollution;" because of the way that our house is situated in relation to our neighbors and in relation to the commercial district of our city, on most nights we can make out the major constellations.

But if I want to appreciate a true clear sky, I know of no locale in my general vicinity that rivals URJ Camp Kalsman.  Looking up into the endless darkness on a camp evening long after my children and the campers have drifted off to sleep, you can see a myriad of stars stretching on for what seems to be an eternity.  I was blessed to be there during this summer's Perseid meteor shower late in the evening of August 11, and it was quite a majestic sight to behold.

There is a prayer in the Reform siddur Mishkan Tefillah that I read on a fairly regular basis at Shabbat morning services or B'nai Miitzvah.  It is an interpretation of the Hoda'ah (Thanksgiving) prayer, and has the refrain Modim anachnu lach (we give thanks to You).

Certainly I acknowledge, and am grateful for, God's handiwork in creation and what I sense as God's continued presence in our world.  Yet occasionally I find it difficult to dig within my heart and soul and adequately express the awe and wonderment that is meant to be evoked by the Hoda'ah prayer.

There is a paragraph in the poetic interpretation that states, "For the expanding grandeur of creation, worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations."

As I looked up at that endless sky, as I woke my son from his sleep to watch the meteor shower with me, I mouthed a silent "Modim anachnu lach."  And my heart soared.

For I once again understood the prayer.

I had returned to my wonderment at the awesomeness of God's creation.

My friend Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, who inspired me to begin this blog with her #BlogExodus project is at it again with #BlogElul, which encourages bloggers to write on different themes during the Hebrew month of Elul to help prepare for the High Holidays.  I'll be trying to blog as frequently as I can this month; follow the hashtag for other writers' thoughts during the month.

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