Thursday, February 25, 2016

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Prayer–A Holy Jewish Mantra?

by Reb Aharon Rubin, from Eye to the Infinite, shared with permission.

& Consciously repeating words and phrases

We said earlier that repetition acts like a mantra on the mind. In the time of the Mishna, saints would repeat certain words, to ascend the spiritual worlds. The fact that we repeat G-d’s Name (Adon-oy (lit. my Master)) so often, will in time, if con­cen­trated upon each time, pro­duce a deep-seated feeling of standing before the Master of the world.

The poetic hymn, אדון עולם Adon Olom “Mas­ter of the Uni­verse”, was placed at the beginning of the morn­ing prayers to help create a mindful aware­ness of G-d.[1] Its opening words make for a per­fect pre­paratory visualisa­tion, paving the way to meaningful communica­tion.

Intone the words, “Adon Olom”, “Master of the uni­verse”, slowly and softly. See yourself before G-d. G-d is looking at you. Contemplate how He over­sees every­thing. He ‘fills’ every­thing: the Universe with all its gal­ax­ies and zillions of stars, the Milky Way, our Solar system, planet Earth with its intricacies and minu­tiae and the spiritual worlds, infinitely greater than all phys­ical reality.

Meditate on how He creates and sustains eve­ry­thing with His Thought and Word; how, therefore, all is as nothing be­fore Him, the Infi­nite One, Master of the Uni­verse, Who fills all those worlds and be­fore Whose Presence you now stand.[2]

The words, אדון עולם Adon Olom, have the same gematriah as אין סוף Ein Sof (The Infinite), which are also the gematriah of אור Ohr, ‘Light’. Think about that. The omniscient Master of the Universe is Ein Sof, Without End; His infi­nite tran­scendental light is equally omnipresent, beyond constraints of time or space.

This meditation need not take long. Spend a couple of moments awakening your natural awe and love for G-d. These feelings should be remembered each time you mention G-d’s Name, ADoN-oY.[3] Should you feel your con­cen­tra­tion falter­ing while praying, recalling these words will re­awaken your love and awe of G-d.

[1] Probably composed by Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gabirol (1021-1058), it is cus­tomar­ily said at the be­ginning of Shach'rith. See Seder HaYom. Mateh Moshe, para. §31, in the name of Rabbi Yehudoh HaChosid quot­ing the great Rabbi Sheriroh Gaon and his son, the great Rabbi Hai Gaon, that whoso­ever says [and contemplates] Adon Olom before prayer is promised that his prayers will be accepted.

[2] Daniel 4:32, Zohar I, 11b, Chagigoh 13a. See also L.A. Tanya, Iggereth HaQodesh.

[3] See though Shulchon Oruch, Orach Chaim §5.


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