Bechukotai

In a world that allows for freedom and creation, there will always be potential for suffering. Things happen, intentionally or chaotically, and people are hurt or happy. If reward and punishment exist, then only in retrospect — while many rightly question their suffering (no explanation will make it fair), a person who wronged another will instinctively recognise their suffering as a punishment. At other times, some recognise the good moments, objects and people in their life as a gift. What is prayer, when it is prayer? A vocalisation of this recognition, which comes in three forms: a cry against unfair suffering; a thankful attempt to be deserving of such gifts as come one’s way; or a conscious turning-away from doing wrong.

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[Inspired by: Leviticus 26; Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed 3:12; “Why does a letter always arrive at its destination?” by Slavoj Žižek; Rav Shagar’s ‘Remainder of Faith‘; and Job en Prières by Marc Chagall.]

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