" REAL MEN DON'T CRY!" In spite of the many cultural and societal changes of the past number of years, to publicly cry continues to suggest weakness and a posture of vulnerability which could be taken advantage of and lead to much hurt and suffering.It is rare to find a synagogue or any house of worship where tears flow naturally, especially from the eyes of their spiritual leaders.
Yesterday, I as well as many others in attendance at Rommemu- a spiritual renewal synagogue on the upper West Side of Manhattan,for the Yom Kippur services, were blessed with the rabbi's tears. As he recited the Kaddish in memory of the six million victims of the holocaust, the words were interrupted- no, they were elevated, by the gasping and halting breath that accompanied sobbing and tears. Reb David's tears opened our hearts and taught me that the most powerful heart opener is the human tear.In the words of the Buddhist teacher, Ajahn Chah," If you haven't wept deeply, you haven't begin to meditate."
Rommemu employs many tools by which to enhance the power of prayer:Singing and chanting that transport worshipers to a different place; clapping,dancing and jumping for joy that bring you to a state of near ecstasy; teachings that speak to one's life. For me it was Rabbi David's tears that opened for me the gates of heaven and allowed my prayers to touch the hem of the Holy One.
For your tears, David, I am most grateful.