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    I thought I’d got it

    cantor moshe oysher prayerI sat there all day on Yom Kippur.

    I knew that was what a Jew ought to be doing.

    The day had its ups and downs. I looked around. Most of the congregation started off quite avidly.

    They didn’t worry too much about the words and the ideas, but they were hooked on the tunes, more or less the same ones we were brought up on. We joined in with gusto.

    Then we got irritable and wriggled. The things we could have been doing if it wasn’t Yom Kippur! We didn’t even have the energy to chat too animatedly. The stale air and the lack of food and drink were getting to us. We started dozing and dreaming.

    I guess the rabbi, the cantor, the choir were all trying their best. Surely they were as worn out as the rest of us.

    Anyhow, there was a moment when my mind perked up and I began thinking – about God of all things.

    Probably there was so much God-talk coming from pulpit and bimah that it affected my thinking. I’m not sure how long the daydream went on, but it was certainly about God.

    Was it God the Prime Mover, or God the Eternal Thou? I’m not sure. It lasted a few minutes – how many I can’t be certain.

    Suddenly it occurred to me – I had actually been thinking about God, about religion, about prayer… even about sin and forgiveness. I suddenly realised. I had found God!

    Then what happened? I picked up the prayer book and tried to work out what page we were on. Since I had found God, I suppose any page would have been the right one.

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