Drawing Near: An Interpretive R’tzei

This prayer is part of the daily Amidah, and traditionally, the prayer requests a restoration of the second Temple, and a restoration of the service Jews performed at the Temple, which included sacrifice. R’tzei asks God to accept our prayer offerings as God previously accepted our fire-offerings. The word for sacrifice in Hebrew is korban, which means “to draw near.”


Our prayers are the offering

and You are the Temple.


Our words rise to the sky 

like smoke from a flame,

swirling above what is burnt,

what is broken.


Holy One of Blessing,

please accept them all:

the words and wonder, 

the fear and awe


Life is light and wax and burning.

Every offering we bring before You

is a way to draw near, a promise of our love. 

Barukh atah Adonai, mekabel ha’olot 
Blessed are You, Holy One, Who accepts our offerings.

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