Jewish Meditation

Introduction to Jewish Meditation – Part 9

The Six Remembrances

At the end of our morning prayers, we recite the "six remembrances," six things a Jew is to remember every day of his life. Naturally, we would expect these six remembrances to correspond to the six continuous commandments of the Torah.

In the order they are listed in the prayer book (which is neither the order of their appearance in the Torah nor their chronological order), the six remembrances are:

1.      "So that you remember the day you came out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life."

2.      "But beware and guard your soul scrupulously, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they be removed from your heart all the days of your life; make known to your children and to your children's children [what you saw] on the day when you stood before God, your God, at Horeb."

3.      "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt; how he met you on the way, and cut down all the weak who straggled behind you, when you were weary and exhausted; and he did not fear God. Therefore, when God, your God, will relieve you of all your enemies around you, in the land which God, your Godgives you as a hereditary portion, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!"

4.      "Remember, do not forget, how you provoked God, your God, to wrath in the desert."

5.      "Remember what God, your Goddid to Miriam on the way, as you came out of Egypt."

6.      "Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it."

First, let us note, with regard to the spiritual service of meditation, that a "remembrance" is a state of consciousness that remains in the wake of a life-experience or a meditative experience, in the terminology of Kabbalah and Chassidut, "an impression" (reshimu). When unable to meditate in depth, we are taught at least to recall previous experiences of Divinity, to remember. Thus, in a certain sense, remembrance is the ideal state of continuous consciousness we are striving to attain here. Though beginning with in-depth meditation, we hope to remember the impression of the meditation the entire day.

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