Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Insight of the Week: My Soul Like Dust?

At the conclusion of the daily Amidah prayer, we say: “My G-d! Guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully… Let my soul be as dust before all. Open my heart to Your Torah…”

Is this really what we desire for ourselves and our loved ones—that they see themselves as dust of the earth, allowing everyone to step on them? Do we want to become doormats?

To the contrary. What we are asking of G-d is that we discover an inner core of confidence that does not require validation from others, or even from ourselves; that we experience our innermost beings as having absolute, non-negotiable dignity. When you have that in your life, then even when someone steps—or tries to step—on you, it does not injure you, because your value comes from your own being. G-d loves you unconditionally; you may love yourself unconditionally, which in turn will allow you to love others unconditionally.      

Tosefot (in commentary to Talmud Berachos 17a) offers this explanation to explain this prayer: Just as earth is not subject to destruction, so ask G-d that our descendants should never be destroyed. The ideas correlate. When your existence is rooted in ultimate Being, it can’t be destroyed.

No comments: