Infinitely Distant, Ever Present

Orange and Yellow, 1956

קדוש קדוש קדוש/Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh. “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the entire world is filled with God’s glory.” This verse, Isaiah 6.3, appears multiple times in the liturgy, forming the core of the Kedushah, the Amidah’s sanctification of the Divine name. In its biblical context, the neophyte prophet Isaiah is graced with… Read more »

Flights of Angels Sing Thee

קדוש קדוש קדוש ה’ צבאות מלא כל הארץ כבודו / Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonay Tzevaot, melo kol ha’aretz Kevodo, “Holy, Holy, Holy is God of hosts, the entire world is filled with God’s glory [Isaiah 6.3].” ברוך כבוד ה’ ממקומו/ Barukh Kevod Adonai mimekomo. “Blessed is the divine Glory, from its place [Ezekiel 3.12].” ימלוך… Read more »

Sharing Gods Crown

אתה קדוש ושמך קדוש וקדושים בכל יום יהללוך/ Atah Kadosh v’Shimkha Kadosh; u’kedoshim bekhol yom yehallelukha. “You are holy, and Your name is holy, and holy beings praise You each day.” No holidays today! No Rosh HaShana, no erev Yom Kippur, no Sukkot, no Shmini Atzeret. (Well, actually, it is Rosh Hodesh Heshvan.) So let’s… Read more »

מתיר אסורים/Matir assurim, “Who releases the captive.”

The Amidah’s second blessing is about divine might in resurrecting the dead. We typically understand this as a maximally mythic miracle for a redemptive future, when God will vivify deceased people who “sleep in the dust.” Well, maybe there is RESURRECTION, shouting with all-caps in bold face, and “resurrection,” whispered in small letters. The Hebrew… Read more »

Dew Drops

מוריד הטל/Morid ha’tal, “Who makes the dew drop.” משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם/ Mashiv ha’ruah u’morid ha’geshem, “Who makes the wind blow and makes the rain fall.” The second blessing of the Amidah is marked with little prayerful weather reports: In the rainy season of the Land of Israel – from Shmini Atzeret at the end of Sukkot until… Read more »