Towards Better Davening and Torah Reading
Towards Better Torah reading and Davening
With Slichot beginning (for Ashkenazim) this Motza"Sh (S'fardim have been saying Slichot since the 2nd of Elul), we will be saying the YUD-GIMMEL MIDOT, the 13 Divine Attributes a lot in the next two weeks plus. The introductory passage to it includes the p'sukim that precede Hashem, HaShem... in Parshat Ki Tisa. And G-d descended (so to speak) in a cloud, and stood there (with Moshe), and He (or he - different opinions) called out with the Name: HASHEM. ...VAYIKRA V'SHEIM (pause) HASHEM. In this context, keeping VAYIKRA and V'SHEIM together, then pausing before saying G-d's name, conveys the correct meaning of the words. There is a similar phrase - but different in meaning, in Lech Lecha, when Avraham calls out in G-d's name - ...VAYIKA pause B'SHEIM HASHEM. It's good to pronounce and accent things correctly all the time, but the YUD- GIMMEL MIDOT deserve an extra effort on our part. Of course, that effort should not be limited to saying the words correctly; we must commit ourselves to live by those attributes of G-d that He wants us to emulate: Mercy, Patience, Kindness, Truth... The YUD-GIMMEL MIDOT are a very potent part of Slichot and Yom Kippur prayer. So powerful that they require a Minyan. They demand our extra care and attention.
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