Saturday, September 03, 2011
I've been driving Yael to school all by herself this week. It's rare for my children to be in the car alone with a parent (with four kids, you're almost always with someone else) and she has relished being able to have the freedom to make the musical selection.
Her current favorite? The Alef Bet Song by Debbie Friedman.
Over and over.
But of course, since it's Elul, it reminded me of a story.
The story is told that once the Baal Shem Tov, the great Chasidic teacher, was leading a prayer service. Within the congregation there was a simple shepherd boy, who could barely read. He didn't know any of the prayers. But as the Baal Shem Tov led the congregation, the boy was so moved that he wanted to pray. Instead of the words of the prayers, he began to recite the letters of the alef-bet. He said, "Oh God, I don't know the words of the prayers, I only know all these letters. Please, God, take these letters and arrange them into the right order to make the right words." The Baal Shem Tov heard the boy's words and stopped all the prayers. "Because of the simple words of this boy," he said, "all of our prayers will be heard in the highest reaches of Heaven."
May the letters form themselves into words...and may we find within ourselves the means to speak to God.