Place These Words Upon Your Heart

My friend Rabbi Norman Cohen gave the sermon this year at the annual interfaith Thanksgiving service in Minnetonka.  Although I was out of town and unable to attend (we had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Appleton with my daughter, her boyfriend and his family), he was kind enough to send me a copy, which he also posted on Facebook.

There are many wonderful thoughts in Rabbi Cohen’s sermon about gratitude, welcoming the stranger and interfaith dialogue.  He concluded his sermon with a Hasidic tale I had not heard before:

A disciple asks the rebbe: ‘Why does Torah tell us to “place these words upon your hearts”? Why does it not tell us to place these holy words in our hearts?’ The rebbe answers: ‘It is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks and the words fall in.’

Makes you pause a bit – at least it made me pause.  And it presents the best prayer I could wish for us given the state of our world today: May our hearts break open so the Word of God may fall in.