Guiding questions for Prayer of the Secular
- In what way is this a personal prayer, in your opinion?
- In what way is this a collective prayer, in your opinion?
- Do you see the first verse as being critical of this non-religious approach to life?
Kobi Oz sees Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakkai as something of a ‘Patron Saint’ of Pluralism. He is so pluralist, suggests Kobi, that he even has three names!
As such, this song offers a vision of pluralism in action. In the song/prayer’s minyan, the protagonist prays alongside those with whom he strongly disagrees and even dislikes.
- Do you accept this as an ideal vision of pluralism and tolerance?
- Do current political issues find their way into your prayers?
- Is Jewish communal prayer the place for thinking about ‘tough stuff’?
Maybe this is another unexpected consequence of the lack of separation between Religion and State in Israel – not only does religion insert itself into politics, but politics also inserts itself into religion!