Prayer of the Month: How We Speak

Rabbi Sarah Bassin

The Amidah

Our standing prayer that allows for our silent moments of more personal prayer—it opens and closes with some of the most compelling words of poetry from King David.

At the beginning, we say:

And at the end we say:The opening and closing words both speak to the power of, well, words. According to tradition, King David recognized that worlds can be created and destroyed by what comes from our lips. It’s a tremendous power that we have—to praise, persuade, and encourage—or on the other hand, to demoralize, deride, and destroy.                

King David reminds us to reflect on what the purpose of our speech is before it escapes our lips. And it’s a reminder that we often need.                    

As we embark on the new year of 5778 with the theme of striving to bring a greater sense of humanity into this world, we remember that this is as much about our words as it is about our deeds.

–Rabbi Sarah Bassin