Understanding Prayer: 10 Short Videos on How Prayer Can Change Your Life

Engaging heart, mind and soul in this central Jewish practice.

1) Spiritual Exercise How prayer is to the human spirit what exercise is to the human body.

2) Thanking & Thinking – Despite the difficult moments, it is important to remember daily that life is a gift.

3) Praise – How the concept of praise is central to Jewish prayer.

4) The Deepest Call – The Shofar and how its sound is a prayer that goes deeper than words.

5) Family – To all humanity, God is a friend. But to the Jewish people, He’s family.

6) Mistakes – We all make mistakes. It is how we learn from them that counts.

7) Growth – Judaism, especially around the High Holy Days, is a sustained tutorial in a growth mindset.

8) Holy Words – Holy words, places, time and people are central to Judaism.

9) Framing Beliefs – Jewish faith isn’t irrational or naive or pre-scientific, but a framing belief.

10) The Soul’s Language – Kol Nidre and the power of music to lift the Jewish soul.

Comments (1)

(1) Mark, February 15, 2018 9:14 PM

Thank you so much

Rabbi Sacks,
I thoroughly enjoyed your video series on prayer. I was very touched by the poem by W.H. Auden that you cited, In the deserts of the heart. I will use that in my work as a physician specializing in addiction and trauma.

I have a poem for you by John Donne, A valediction forbidding mourning.

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
“The breath goes now," and some say, “No,"

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move;
‘Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of the earth brings harms and fears,
Men reckon what it did and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers’ love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit
Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.

But we, by a love so much refined
That our selves know not what it is,
Inter-assured of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion.
Like gold to airy thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two:
Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if the other do;

And though it in the center sit,
Yet when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like the other foot, obliquely run;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.


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