Linda K. Wertheimer

Calling Out Her Name

The Paradox of Personal vs. Public prayer

A hush sweeps over the sanctuary as Rabbi Jaffe begins to walk amongst us. His voice, usually booming yet warm in tenor, drops to a near-whisper as he says it’s time to remember those in need of healing. “If you have their permission, say their name when my eyes meet yours,” he says. Rabbi Jaffe moves so quietly on the beige carpet that I hear each exhale of his breath and mine. His is even, calm. Mine is erratic, uneasy. He pauses in front of a row of chairs, gazes at one person, then waits for five seconds or more before moving his eyes to the next.

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