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"BHC is a vibrant, caring community that warmly welcomes, embraces and engages..."
- Martha Weiman
Jewish worship embraces both the heart and the mind. Our prayers support us when we are saddened, confused, and nervous as surely as they provide a vehicle for expressing our joy and hope. Baltimore Hebrew Congregation's worship services embrace the ancient and evolving heritage of our people, while giving voice to Reform Jewish creativity and concerns. Jewish prayer is deeply personal while reaching its richest expressions within communal worship.
As we pray as a diverse and welcoming Jewish community, let us explore the rich tapestry of Jewish prayer.
Note: Cited page numbers are from Mishkan T'filah: A Reform Siddur, published in 2007.
1. Shalom: Peace in Our Prayers
Jewish worship is filled with references to Shalom, a word whose root means "completeness," not just peace. Most notably, the evening "Shalom Rav" (p.178-9) and morning "Sim Shalom" (p.258-9) draw our attention to God as the Source of peace and our hope for peace for all humanity. As is often stated, the Jewish hope for peace is not a mere cessation of conflict. We hope for peace in our lifetime, but even more we pray for a time with a complete sense of safety, health, and security for us, for all Israel, and for all humanity. This hope is implicit in our understanding of "Oseh Shalom," a prayer that appears on its own (p.260) and as part of the Mourner's Kaddish (p.598).