Friday, August 06, 2004

Nachem II or Meaning What We Praying

I mentioned earlier this week an underground controversy regarding revising the Nachem prayer to reflect the current reality of Jerusalem.

I was by the Gemara in Yuma which explains the greatness of the Anshei Kneset/s ha-Gedolah (them Men of the Great Assembly) as having been able to return the glory to Hashem by radically reinterpreting Tefillah to mean the God is great for holding himself back while letting the enemies of the Jews destroy Israel.

The upshot is that the Anshei Kneset haGedolah, according to this passage of the Gemara produced radical theology, but maintained the ancient formulations of prayer.

In contrast Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, who is adverse both to radical theology and liturgical revisions favors the shev ve-al taaseh approach.

An alternative approach would be to revise our understanding of the "simple" "Pshat" of Prayer and adopted a more "Drash" approach to either prayer or Kavvanah. But this goes against Modern Orthodoxy's tendency to favor "Pshat" over "Drash" unless the Tradition forces them otherwise..

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