Shema: Waiting For God
Simone Weil speaks in Waiting For God as a kind of readiness. The opening sound of the Shema is “Shhhhh” – be quiet – listen – be ready to hear – become someone who is waiting for God.
The great Russian poet Anna Akhmatova wrote in her diary: “X asked me whether it was difficult or easy to write poetry. I answered that when somebody dictates it to you, it’s quite easy, but that when there is nobody dictating – it’s simply impossible.” When we are silent, ready, and listening: We will hear the poetry of the Shema guide us.
The Transition From Ahavat Olam to Shema
Dante wrote: “I am one who, when Love breathes me in, takes heed, and as he dictates it within me, I follow along writing it down.” (Purgatorio 24.52-4) When we connect with God’s eternal and vast love for us in the blessing immediately preceding the Shema, we can better hear the Shema’s lessons.
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