Prayer at Isaiah

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote: “To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of the mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments. It is all we can offer in return for the mystery by which we live…How strange we are in the world, and how presumptuous our doings! Only one response can maintain us: gratefulness for witnessing the wonder, for the gift of our unearned right to serve, to adore, and to fulfill. It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.”

Johannes Brahms was once asked what he was trying to say in a piece of music. He replied that if he could have said it in words he would not need to say it in music. When we pray, we become aware of the eternal dance between our soul and God. It is difficult to put into words what it means to truly pray. Sometimes it can only be expressed in music. Sometimes it is expressed with tears or with sighing. Sometimes it is expressed through swaying. Sometimes even through dancing around the sanctuary. Sometimes it is expressed through deep silences.