Thursday, November 30, 2006

5 Minute Judaism Day 1


This prayer is usually recited upon waking up, but can be recited the entire day. (Artscroll Siddur, page 3)

“Thank you God, the living and faithful God, Who has compassionately returned to me my soul; How great is your faithfulness!”

(The Hebrew, in transliteration, goes like this:

"Modeh ani l'fanecha, melech chai v'kayam, shehechezarta bi nishmati b'chemlah, rabah emunatecha")

Commentary: Perspective matters. Isn’t life different when you start the day off thinking how lucky you are to be alive, rather than getting grumpy and annoyed at every little thing that goes wrong?

Petition: People forget that prayer is about talking to God. You can actually pray without a prayer. This minute is a time to talk to God about anything that may be of interest or concern.


From Genesis, 1:27

כז וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם.

27 And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.

Some Questions to consider:

a. What is it about human beings that truly is in the image of God?

b. If man is in the image of God, what is the religious value of kindness?


Put a quarter away in a plastic bag. In 3 months we will collect it and pick a charity.


Today’s ritual is “Netilat Yadayim shel Shacharit”, Washing your hands in the morning.

This ritual asks each person to pour a cup of water over each hand upon waking up. Custom has it for one to wash the right and then the left hand three times in a row.

Commentary: Each day upon waking, we are given a new lease on life. The gift of life is a calling, making all of us priests with sacred responsibilities.

Much like the priests in the Temple, we must remember the purity of our calling. We wash our hands like the priests did*, to symbolically remind us of our calling.

* for the curious, see Exodus 30:17-21

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