Profound insights from Shoafim tefillot
Hi Shoafim friends and family!! I want to take a moment to share with you an incredible experience we had yesterday morning during our tefillot. In the concluding blessing after reciting the Shema in the morning, we say the phrase "emet atah hu rishon v'atah hu acharon" which translate to "true it is that You are the first and You are the last." After learning and singing a new tune to this phrase, several hanichim (campers) offered their interpretations of what this phrase means and the statement it makes about God and about our lives. I was amazed and impressed by the insightfulness of their responses. One hanich understood it to mean that God is eternal, whose existence preceded others and who will outlast all else. Another suggested that these two extremes (first and last) remind us all that God knows when we are good and when we are bad, that God's omnipresence pervades all that we do. And yet a further interpretation by one hanich conjured up the image of a queue, wherein people stand single-file one behind the other. By saying that God is both first and last, this camper explained, we are reminded that God both leads us in our ways and follows our example. From this we should go about our lives with the confidence that God is with us, yet with the initiative to always live as if someone is watching us and following us.
I am so excited to learn more from our insightful and inspiring Shoafimers!