Messages from Rabbi Russo

January 29, 2016 - 19 Shevat

Our weekly Haftarah class this week shared a moment of inspiration when we read:
"Holy, holy, holy!
The Lord of Hosts!
His presence fills all the earth!"
from Isaiah 6:3 in the Haftarah for Parashat Yitro.  We recite this line as part of the K'dushah in the Amidah prayer.
In the narrative, six Seraphim angels are calling out to one another.  The commentator Rashi notes that the calling is an angelic invitation, performed in unison (like how we recite it in shul) to sanctify God.  The Etz Hayyim notes "that the recitation of the K'dushah by a congregation on earth parallels the praise of the angelic host.  The Sages also stress that the human recitation precedes the angelic one and that this leads to the coronation of God who ascends the highest throne in heaven.  The visionary experience of Isaiah thus has become a communal ritual, uniting heaven and earth in a chorale of divine praise."  This beautiful and vivid description helps us to understand the intention of holiness we seek to emulate from the angels and create during the K'dushah.
I realize that sometimes it is challenging when people arrive at synagogue and are asked to wait until after the K'dushah to enter the synagogue.  I hope that by learning about the holiness we cultivate during this part of the service, it might change how we view (what can be perceived as unwelcoming) waiting outside the sanctuary until we finish the K'dushah.
This Shabbat as we recite the K'dushah in shul or pray at home, we hold the kavanah/the intention of how together we can praise God and parallel the angels. 
Shabbat Shalom.