Between Knock & Entry: A Prayer for Finding One’s Place in Tradition

The tale of Rabbi Adam Baal Shem of Ropczyce
Is likewise a tale of the shtetl-dweller who found himself standing at his door. 
The yid knocked and then entered,
Finding himself, in a short while, the initiate of a secret society that fixed all the pashut yidden (simple Jews) of Europe.
That turned their souls heaven-ward to G-d.
But, alas, the unwritten story.
Of the moment between knock and entry:
For, the yid’s generations
Stood all in the same place.
Knocking, at their hearts.
And crying:
“What of the yidden who do not need fixing?
Who crave the safety of arms opened?
Of lives unencumbered by a master’s tutelage or ever-watchful gaze?”

O, G-d!
O, Maker!
Of this old and living soul! 

Assure me.
That the path that’s in front of me.
Began so long before me.
That my wandering is not only ancient.
But holy tradition.

And no matter master’s house
or shtetl abode,
Wherever I stand, I am in the shelter of the ancestors. 

 

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ הַפּוֹרֵשׂ סֻכַּת שָׁלוֹם עָלֵינוּ וְעַל כָּל 

עַמּוֹ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל יְרוּשָׁלָיִם

 

Blessed are You, Eternal G-d, whose shelter of peace is spread over us, over all Your People, and over Jerusalem.
Amen.

*Original story based on narratives shared by Martin Buber & Gershom Scholem

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