Humans pray for all kinds of things: food, water, health, a good grade on a spelling test, no more meatloaf for dinner, a kiss from a handsome boy, acceptance into college, finding a partner, getting a good job, and so on. Judaism even has prayers for going to the bathroom, or smelling something wonderful. All of these prayers are directed to God, in the hopes that the Divine will listen and give us the thumbs up.
But does God ever pray? What on earth would the Creator of the World pray for? In a little-known section of the Talmud, the rabbis ask just such a question. Rabbi Zutra responds that God does indeed pray. God says, “May it be My will that My mercy may suppress My anger, and that My mercy may prevail over My other attributes, so that I may deal with My children with mercy and, on their behalf, stop short of the limit of strict justice.”
It might seem a little silly for God to pray to God’s self, but it’s comforting to know that even the Master of the Universe struggles sometimes.
March 5, 2014