“Blessed are You, G”d-Eternal, our G”g-Almighty, Sovereign of the Universe, who …”
The sudden change, within the very same sentence, from addressing G”d in the second person, to the third person, serves to emphasize the remarkable fact that we address G”d directly, in the second person, altogether. An infinite chasm separates Man from G”d, He is unfathomable, even His Name is ineffable. And yet, in the act of prayer, and particularly through the recitation of blessings, we reach over that gap and speak directly to G”d.
The otherworldliness of this experience is emphasized by Rav Joseph Ber Soloveitchik, for whom the recitation of the verse ה’ שפתי תפתח ופי יגיד תהלתך (L”rd, open my lips, that my mouth may speak Thy praise – Psalms 51:17) immediately before beginning the recitation of a תפילת עמידה (silent, standing devotion) was instituted because, as we set out to address G”d so directly and so intimately, we become speechless. Only with the added strength G”d grants us can we overcome our speechlessness. Read the rest of this entry »