The One Who Answers
When We Don't Pray
There is something about the “Mi She-Anah” prayer of Selihot that has bothered me in recent years. I used to think of this part of Selihot as a relatively straightforward list poem. The structure seemed elementary and kind of boring—May the One who answered X person in Y place also answer us. In my mind, I conflated all of the specific examples as circumstances where a person prayed to be saved and God answered the prayer through an act of intervention and salvation. It felt both literarily redundant and theologically simplistic.