Faith Commons

Our third monthly newsletter from Faith Commons is not issue-based this month, but a word of comfort and preparation for dark days ahead.


August in Texas. A bittersweet time, as the easier pace of summer gives way to fall’s flurry of activity. The Jewish High Holy Days come early this year, so the month of preparation that precedes the ten days of internal reckoning has begun, and with it a question that anyone of any faith might ask; “What should we be praying for right now, in this moment?”

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, who was born in Poland in 1889 and perished in the Holocaust, taught the following on the eve of the Jewish New Year in 1929:

“We can begin our prayer with a petition to fulfill our personal needs. However, then we must progress into true song and prayer, which arises from beyond our individual desires.” Rabbi Shapira encourages us to pray for our  immediate needs as a gateway to deepening our devotion to the Eternal. But in order to do so we have to actually pay attention to how we feel.


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