Why Are People Cruel?
I've never understood the Christian God. Yeah, the Jewish God was pretty swift at striking sinners down, but for the most part we were thanking and praising him for all the blessings and bounties of our living world, his merciful lovingkindness when we mess up, always the everloving One, blessed be the name whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever.
Jews believe in transmigration of the soul, everyone born with some imperfection, faced with learning to cope with the world in a righteous manner. There is no Hell in Hebrew theology. There’s here and there’s the kingdom of eternal life. The object of the game is to perfect ourselves in this lifetime so that the kingdom of heaven is restored on Earth, with people living in peace with each other and in harmony with the natural world for a thousand years or more.
This the Mourner’s Kaddish or prayer for the dead and the “Amidah” or quiet devotion read daily by the devout. There is no room for cruelty in the heart of the faithful Jew.
Exalted and hallowed be His great Name. (Congregation responds: "Amen.")
Throughout the world which He has created according to His Will. May He establish His
kingship, bring forth His redemption and hasten the coming of His Moshiach. (Cong: "Amen.")
In your lifetime and in your days and in the lifetime of the entire House of Israel, speedily and
soon, and say, Amen.
(Cong: "Amen. May His great Name be blessed forever and to all eternity, blessed.")
May His great Name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified, exalted
and extolled, honored, adored and lauded be the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He. (Cong:
Beyond all the blessings, hymns, praises and consolations that are uttered in the world; and say,
Amen. (Cong: "Amen.")
May there be abundant peace from heaven, and a good life for us and for all Israel; and say,
Amen. (Cong: "Amen.")
He Who makes peace (Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur substitute: "the peace") in His
heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. (Cong: Amen)
While praying, concentrate on the meaning of the words and remember that you stand before the Divine Presence. Before beginning the Amidah, take three steps back, then three steps forward. Recite the Amidah quietly — but audibly to yourself — while standing with feet together.
My L-rd, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare Your praise.
Bend Knees at "Blessed"; bow are "You"; Straighten at "L-rd our G‑d":
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, G‑d of Abraham, G‑d of Isaac and G‑d of Jacob, the great, mighty and awesome G‑d, exalted G‑d, who bestows bountiful kindness, who creates all things, who remembers the piety of the Patriarchs, and who, in love, brings a redeemer to their children's children, for the sake of His Name.
During the Ten Days of Penitence add:
Remember us for life, King who desires life; inscribe us in the Book of Life, for Your sake, O living G‑d.
Bend Knees at "Blessed"; bow are "You"; Straighten at "L-rd our G‑d":
O King, (You are) a helper, a savior and a shield. Blessed are You L-rd, Shield of Abraham.
You are mighty forever, my L-rd; You resurrect the dead; You are powerful to save.
In summer say: He causes the dew to descend. In winter say: He causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall.
He sustains the living with loving kindness, resurrects the dead with great mercy, supports the falling, heals the sick, releases the bound, and fulfills His trust to those who sleep in the dust. Who is like You, mighty One! And who can be compared to You, King, who brings death and restores life, and causes deliverance to spring forth!
During the Ten Days of Penitence add: Who is like You, merciful Father, who in compassion remembers His creatures for life.
You are trustworthy to revive the dead. Blessed are You L-rd, who revives the dead.
When the Chazzan repeats Amidah, Kedushah is recited here.
We will hallow and adore You as the sweet words of the assembly of the holy Seraphim who thrice repeat "holy" unto You, as it is written by Your prophet: And they call one to another and Say, (Cong. and Chazzan:) "Holy, holy, holy is the L-rd of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory." (Chazzan:) Those facing them offer praise and say, (Cong and Chazzan:) "Blessed be the glory of the L-rd from its place." (Chazzan:) And in Your holy Scriptures it is written thus: (Cong. and Chazzan:) The L-rd shall reign forever; your G‑d, O Zion, throughout all generations. Praise the L-rd.
You are holy and Your Name is holy, and holy beings praise You daily for all eternity. Blessed are You L-rd, the holy G‑d. (During the Ten Days of Penitence substitute: the holy King.)
You graciously bestow knowledge upon man and teach mortals understanding. Graciously bestow upon us from You, wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Blessed are You L-rd, who graciously bestows knowledge.
Cause us to return, our Father, to Your Torah; draw us near, our King, to Your service; and bring us back to You in whole-hearted repentance. Blessed are You L-rd, who desires penitence.
Pardon us, our Father, for we have sinned; forgive us, our King, for we have transgressed; for You are a good and forgiving G‑d. Blessed are You L-rd, gracious One who pardons abundantly.
O behold our affliction and wage our battle; redeem us speedily for the sake of Your Name, for You G‑d are the mighty redeemer. Blessed are You L-rd, Redeemer of Israel.
Heal us, O L-rd, and we will be healed; help us and we will be saved; for You are our praise. Grant complete cure and healing to all our wounds; for You, Almighty King, are a faithful and merciful healer. Blessed are You L-rd, who heals the sick of His people Israel.
Bless for us, L-rd our G‑d, this year and all the varieties of its produce for good; and bestow (During the summer season say:) blessing (During the winter season say: dew and rain for blessing) upon the face of the earth. Satisfy us from Your bounty and bless our year like other good years, for blessing; for You are a generous G‑d who bestows goodness and blesses the years. Blessed are You L-rd, who blesses the years.
Sound the great shofar for our freedom; raise a banner to gather our exiles, and bring us together from the four corners of the earth into our land. Blessed are You L-rd, who gathers the dispersed of His people Israel.
Restore our judges as in former times, and our counsellors as of yore; remove from us sorrow and sighing, and reign over us, You alone, O L-rd, with kindness and compassion, with righteousness and justice. Blessed are You L-rd, King who loves righteousness and justice. (During the Ten Days of Penitence substitute with: the King of judgment.)
Let there be no hope for informers, and may all the heretics and all the wicked instantly perish; may all the enemies of Your people be speedily extirpated; and may You swiftly uproot, break, crush and subdue the reign of wickedness speedily in our days. Blessed are You L-rd, who crushes enemies and subdues the wicked.
May Your mercies be aroused, L-rd our G‑d, upon the righteous, upon the pious, upon the elders of Your people, the House of Israel, upon the remnant of their sages, upon the righteous proselytes and upon us. Grant ample reward to all who truly trust in Your Name, and place our lot among them; may we never be disgraced, for we have put our trust in You. Blessed are You L-rd, the support and security of the righteous.
Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You L-rd, who rebuilds Jerusalem. Speedily cause the scion of David Your servant to flourish, and increase his power by Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all day. Blessed are You L-rd, who causes the power of salvation to flourish.
Hear our voice, L-rd our G‑d; merciful Father, have compassion upon us and accept our prayers in mercy and favor, for You are G‑d who hears prayers and supplications; do not turn us away empty-handed from You, our King, for You hear the prayer of everyone. Blessed are You L-rd, who hears prayer.
Look with favor, L-rd our G‑d, on Your people Israel and pay heed to their prayer; restore the service to Your Sanctuary and accept with love and favor Israel's fire-offerings and prayer; and may the service of Your people Israel always find favor.
On Rosh Chodesh and Chol HaMoed, (Our G‑d. . . may there ascend) is recited here.
Our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, may there ascend, come and reach, be seen, accepted, and heard, recalled and remembered before You, the remembrance and recollection of us, the remembrance of our fathers, the remembrance of Mashiach the son of David Your servant, the remembrance of Jerusalem Your holy city, and the remembrance of all Your people the House of Israel, for deliverance, well-being, grace, kindness, mercy, good life and peace, on this day of
On Rosh Chodesh: Rosh Chodesh
On the holiday of Passover: the Festival of Matzot
On the holiday of Sukkot: the Festival of Sukkot.
Remember us on this [day], L-rd our G‑d, for good; be mindful of us on this [day] for blessing; help us on this [day] for good life. With the promise of deliverance and Compassion, spare us and be gracious to us; have mercy upon us and deliver us; for our eyes are directed to You, for You, G‑d, are a gracious and merciful King.
May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in mercy. Blessed are You L-rd, who restores His Divine Presence to Zion.
We thankfully acknowledge that You are the L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers forever. You are the strength of our life, the shield of our salvation in every generation. We will give thanks to You and recount Your praise, evening, morning and noon, for our lives which are committed into Your hand, for our souls which are entrusted to You, for Your miracles which are with us daily, and for Your continual wonders and beneficences. You are the Beneficent One, for Your mercies never cease; the Merciful One, for Your kindnesses never end; for we always place our hope in You.
On Chanukah and Purim, the following is added.
And [we thank You] for the miracles, for the redemption, for the mighty deeds, for the saving acts, and for the wonders which You have wrought for our ancestors in those days, at this time ---
On Chanukah continue here:
In the days of Matityahu, the son of Yochanan the High Priest, the Hasmonean and his sons, when the wicked Hellenic government rose up against Your people Israel to make them forget Your Torah and violate the decrees of Your will. But You, in Your abounding mercies, stood by them in the time of their distress. You waged their battles, defended their rights and avenged the wrong done to them. You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton sinners into the hands of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah. You made a great and holy name for Yourself in Your world, and effected a great deliverance and redemption for Your people to this very day. Then Your children entered the shrine of Your House, cleansed Your Temple, purified Your Sanctuary, kindled lights in Your holy courtyards, and instituted these eight days of Chanukah to give thanks and praise to Your great Name.
On Purim continue here:
In the days of Mordechai and Esther, in Shushan the capital, when the wicked Haman rose up against them, and sought to destroy, slaughter and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to take their spoil for plunder. But You, in Your abounding mercies, foiled his counsel and frustrated his intention, and caused the evil he planned --- to recoil on his own head, and they hanged him and his sons upon the gallows.
And for all these, may Your Name, our King, be continually blessed, exalted and extolled forever and all time.
During the Ten Days of Penitence add:
Inscribe all the children of Your Covenant for a good life.
And all living things shall forever thank You, and praise Your great Name eternally, for You are good. G‑d, You are our everlasting salvation and help, O benevolent G‑d. Blessed are You L-rd, Beneficent is Your Name, and to You it is fitting to offer thanks.
Bestow peace, goodness and blessing, life, graciousness, kindness and mercy, upon us and upon all Your people Israel. Bless us, our Father, all of us as one, with the light of Your countenance. For by the light of Your countenance You gave us, L-rd our G‑d, the Torah of life and loving-kindness, righteousness, blessing, mercy, life and peace. May it be favorable in Your eyes to bless Your people Israel, at all times and at every moment, with Your peace.
During the Ten Days of Penitence add: And in the Book of life, blessing, peace and prosperity, deliverance, consolation and favorable decrees, may we and all Your people the House of Israel be remembered and inscribed before You for a happy life and for peace.
Blessed are You L-rd, who blesses His people Israel with peace. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, L-rd, my Strength and my Redeemer.
My G‑d, guard my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceitfully. Let my soul be silent to those who curse me; let my soul be as dust to all. Open my heart to Your Torah, and let my soul eagerly pursue Your commandments. As for all those who plot evil against me, hasten to annul their counsel and frustrate their design. Let them be as chaff before the wind; let the angel of the L-rd thrust them away. That Your beloved ones may be delivered, help with Your right hand and answer me. Do it for the sake of Your Name; do it for the sake of Your right hand; do it for the sake of Your Torah; do it for the sake of Your holiness. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, L-rd, my Strength and my Redeemer.
Before reciting the following verse one should bow, and in this bowed position, take three steps backward. While still bowing, he should turn his head to his left saying, "He who makes peace in His heavens"; bow forward, saying, "may He"; turn his head to his right, saying, "make peace for us"; and finally bow forward, saying, "and for all Israel; and say, Amen".
He who makes peace (During the Ten Days of Penitence say: the peace) in His heavens, may He make peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.
May it be Your will, L-rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, that the Bet Hamikdash be speedily rebuilt in our days, and grant us our portion in Your Torah.