Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Swayin' While Prayin'

When I pray
I sway.
Why? you may say.

The Yiddish word: shuckle.
Is there a Hebrew equivalent?

It's how I saw people praying growing up.
I don't know another way.
I've tried to stop.
It happens by itself.

Sometimes, the emotion of my words gets into my body and takes over.
Or, I'm thinking about my grocery list (oy!).
Then, the sway/pray wakes me up.

Shake!  Awake!
Think about where you are. (Not Heinen's.)

Are you not ashamed
to be swaying
like a saint
when your mind
grows faint?

Close your eyes.
Sway.  Be silent.  Let your body remind your heart.
To listen.
Take part.
Be on the same page.
Be one:
Words.  Mind.  Heart. Body.
Sway, and pray.
Or: pray, and sway.

Either way.


  1. Sruly Koval - the proud hubby!June 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Love it!

  2. One of the reasons for why we sway when we pray is because it is said that our neshama ( soul ) is compared to a flame, and a flame is always moving around. When we pray, we are connecting with our soul...hence the swaying....

    1. That is beautiful - I never heard that.

    2. I can't remember for sure where I read it, but I think it's from Rigshei Lev, By Rabbi Nissel, but not 100% sure.

  3. the source for that is in the Book of Tanya

  4. The source for that is in the Book of Tanya

  5. כל עצמותי תאמרנה ה' מי כמוך
    Translation: All My limbs will say: G-d, who is like you?
    Psalms 35:10
    When we 'shuckle', we accomplish this by involving all of our limbs in our prayer.
    Absolutely beautiful writing

    1. Great info/source. Thanks!

  6. Poetry on a Jewish blog! My life is complete.

  7. Recent neurological studies have shown that moving when learning increases retention. So shuckling is good for the brain as well!


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