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Amidah: Blessing 5: Expecting More of One’s Self

Another concept here is that we refer to God as our Father and as our King. When it says ‘Father’ or ‘King,’ it means parents or royalty. It doesn’t only mean the male parent, or the male sovereign. It’s just that the generic form in Hebrew is the male form. Let’s say I was running around in Ner Yisrael, when I was a little boy. And we vandalized something that we shouldn’t. I was the head vandal. Now my father is the Rosh Yeshiva. My grandfather, my uncle, they are all at the head. My father’s response was “You should act differently. Don’t you expect more of yourself?” That was it. But that was devastating to me than any punch in the nose. When we ask for forgiveness, we are supposed to feel bushah – shame. Bushah is “I shouldn’t be acting this way. I expect more of myself. God is my parent, and I am acting like this? It’s disgusting. I’m embarrassed.” It’s not regret, or guilt. “It’s just not right. Poshnischt.’”


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