Chayei Sarah

Isaac went out to speak [lasuach] in the field.” Each of the forefathers, just like us, had a unique relationship with God, and this is reflected in their style of prayer. Isaac is a man of the field. He surrounds himself with plants [siach], draws on their vitality and uses the world-as-it-is to permeate his prayers for a world-as-it-could-be. Yet his prayer is neither brazenly arrogant nor overly humble – it’s simply a conversation [sichah], almost like one between good friends. The three commandments “love the stranger”, “love your neighbour” and “love your God” draw on the same love. Sometimes, prayer can be simple conversation; conversation between friends can be sacred; going out into the real world an act of sanctification.

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[Inspired by: Wheat Field with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh; Genesis 24:63; Likutei Moharan 2:1 and 2:11; Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kotzk (as quoted in Ramatayim Tzofim); and maybe also L’après-midi d’un faune by Stéphane Mallarmé / Claude Debussy.]

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