When God Sheds A Tear…
Preparing for Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur
In 2011, in advance of Rosh Hashanah, the Ten Days of Repentance and Yom Kippur 5772, the Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks recorded a series of ten short videos, each reflecting on a particular theme or prayer pertinent to this special and spiritual period in the Jewish calendar.
These timeless messages are equally applicable as we enter any new year.
Avinu Malkeinu. Our Father our King. You know who composed that prayer? Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud says, that once, no rain fell. There was a drought. People were suffering. The Rabbis ordained a fast. Rabbi Eliezer, a very distinguished Rabbi, prayed 24 prayers but nothing happened. Then Rabbi Akiva stepped forward and said: Avinu Malkeinu, our Father our King. Ein lanu melech ela atah. We have no King but You. And the rain fell. Can you imagine this?
Here is a simple Jew, Rabbi Akiva, who couldn’t even read Hebrew until he was grown up. And he looks up to heaven and says: God, we are small and You are vast, we are nothing and You are everything, but Tatele, Abba, Avinu, You are our Father. Who else do we have in the whole universe but You?
And I believe at that moment, God Himself shed a tear and that was the rain that fell. Avinu Malkeinu. All we have is you.