My living room features four guitars on various stands, along with a five-string banjo. When I’m listening to recorded music at a high-enough (not necessarily that loud) volume, I hear and can often see the open strings vibrating sympathetically with certain notes. This is known as resonance.

I recently wrote, describing the Siddur as a learning experience and a compendium of basic Jewish source-material, that constant repetition over time will embed many words, verses, psalms and rabbinic truths into our hearts and minds. Even if we don’t daven “perfectly”, with complete focus, kavanah and devotion each time (I certainly don’t and I doubt if there are many, if any at all, who are able to do this), the words and phrases continue to deeply reinforce their impressions each time we revisit them.

These words were not arbitrarily drawn whole-cloth from the air, but were deliberately chosen by our earlier sages, all of them masters of both niglah (revealed Torah) and nistar (mystical Torah) for a set of reasons, some of which we can understand, most others we have to work very hard to even begin to understand. One of the reasons behind this design is to establish and form a network of resonant associations we experience whenever we read from the Tanach or learn our traditional seforim. We see everywhere we look a shimmering field of words and phrases we’ve seen before, and when we bring our studies back to our tefilla even more of our siddur experience lights up ever brighter for us. We create a symphony within ourselves, then throughout our communities and, together we participate in this “mega-symphony” of Kol Am Yisrael, the entire Jewish people, stretching not only across the world, but across all time. And we each contribute exactly our own unique voices.

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2 Responses to Resonance

  1. Mr. Cohen says:

    There are elementary schoolchildren in Earl’s neighborhood who need to hear some of his stories. They should hear about the time when Earl [an African American] was on Okinawa, “the rock” [during World War II].

    He complained about segregation in the [American] Army and was thrown in the stockade [army prison] for insubordination. One of his friends slipped out of the barracks at night and low-crawled to the fence line outside Earl’s cell. His friend told Earl that he had overheard the commanding officer say that they were going to find a way to provoke Earl when he was on work detail, make Earl attack one of the guards, and then they would shoot him [dead]. They said: “That man will not leave the rock alive.”

    They also need to hear Earl tell his story about the Jewish doctor on the [USA Army] base who did not want to see anyone punished on account of prejudice. The doctor risked his own career, got Earl off the rock [Okinawa], and saved Earl’s life. He also – to hear Earl tell it – changed Earl’s own prejudice view of people who were Jewish.

    SOURCE: Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life (chapter 6, page 67) by Eric Greitens (Navy SEAL), year 2015 CE, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishers.
    Please help SUE the terrorists in court:

    Shurat HaDin’s victory for Israel on FaceBook:

    Thank you!

    PS: * * * *

  2. Mr. Cohen says:

    Can Jews learn something from The Monkees?

    “We were born to love one another.
    This is something we all need.”

    SOURCE: lyrics of the song: For Pete’s Sake,
    released by The Monkees, 1967 May 22
    That was around 2 weeks before the Six Day War.
    Please help Shurat HaDin SUE the terrorists in court:

    Shurat HaDin’s victory for Israel on FaceBook:

    Thank you!

    PS: * * * *

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