Shekhinah: Amidah (Silent Prayer)

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Shekhinah: the Presence
Shekhinah: the Presence

Section 6 of “Shekhinah: The Presence” by Joseph Zitt
This is an unedited scan of the text, courtesy of Josh Ronsen
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words spoken





tightly joined


three steps back
three steps forward
as we approach the ghost of a throne

feet held closely together

"Oh Lord, open our lips..."

For each blessing
meticulously written
we bend our knees and bow
then stand erect again
and turn and sway

and as we speak our prayers
in silence
we listen also
to the whisperings of our hearts

Listen: you may hear
  the turning of pages
  the hum of lights
  the rush of traffic passing outside
  the rustle of moving lips
    as we mouth and savor
    the ancient texts
  the shuffle of feet.

Listen: if you hear these,
  listen more closely.

(The Presence comes near,
  as if afraid that her light
  will distract us from
  our focus.

She moves among us

Then, with further joy,
  exchanging power with us
  as the beams of our prayers merge and
  point east
  point upward
  point outward

She runs in paths of symbols of infinity
  bowing and swirling among us
  her energies reflecting,
  refracting our movements
  our bows and turns
  tilting, spinning her outward

as each of us completes the prayer
  (three steps forward
  three steps back)
she slows

then once again rejoins the silence
  waiting to the east)

We finish

and our leader turns,
then turns back,

saying the prayers again, aloud,
  for those of us who may not have prayed
  for those of us who may not have understood
  for those of us who may not have listened
    to their inner selves
    to their voices of meditation.

We stand

more relaxed,
more aligned with the surrounding atmosphere

let our minds drift
to the leader’s melodies
as we
and the shielding hall of prayer
become one.

(return to Shekhinah: the Presence)