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Idol Chatter

Alana Newhouse, a journalist who writes frequently for the New York Times, writes about having to step up her traveling–and flying–lately in her article “At 36,000 Feet, Closer to God.” A nervous flyer, she talks about how a Jewish prayer–the “Wayfarer’s Prayer” that she learned long ago at the Orthodox yeshiva where she went to for school–is helping her get through all the travel. The prayer is supposed to “protect travelers from all means of danger”:

“May it be Thy will, O Lord my God, to conduct us in peace, to direct our steps in peace, to uphold us in peace and to deliver us from every enemy and ambush by the way.” It begins, in translation: “Send a blessing upon the work of our hands and let us obtain grace, loving-kindness and mercy in Thine eyes and in the eyes of all who behold me. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, Who hearkeneth unto prayer.”

Newhouse traces the Jewish history of this prayer–and discusses her discovery of what she calls her journeys with “a congregation of fellow airplane passengers” in this fascinating memoir-esque essay. Click here for the full story.

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