let us raise our hands in prayer, for tomorrow they will be powerless
in the dust.
Think not that he who supplicates
before the Door of Mercy, which is never shut, will turn away
O, Lord, regard us with
compassion, for sin has entered among Thy servants.
O, gracious G-d! By thy
bounty have we been sustained; to Thy gifts and loving kindness
have we become habituated.
Since in this life Thou
has ennobled us above all things created, hope of similar glory
have we in the world to come.
O, G-d, humiliate me not
by reason of Thy greatness; make me not ashamed by reasons of
Let no one prevail over
me, for it is better that I should suffer punishment from Thy
Let it suffice that I am
ashamed in Thy presence; make me not ashamed before my fellow
If the shadow of Thy mercy
fall upon me, mean is the dignity of the sky before mine eyes.
If Thou give to me a crown,
I will raise my head; exalt me, so that no one may caste down.
THE IDOLATER'S LAMENT
A WORSHIPPER'S LAMENT
I tremble when I recall
the prayer of one distracted in the temple of Mecca. Thus did
"Throw me not down,
for no one will hold my hand to succor me. Whether Thou call
me or drive me away, my head has no resting place, but Thy threshold.
Thou knowest that I am poor and helpless; I am oppressed by my
evil passions. Keep me from pollution, and forgive my sins. Close
not mine eyes from the face of happiness; bind not my tongue
when I recite the creed. Place the lamp of Faith before my way;
make my hand short from doing evil. From the sun of Thy goodness
one ray suffices, for except in Thy rays I am not seen. Why should
I weep because of my condition? If I am weak, my refuge is strong."
A STORY OF AN IDOLATER
A Zoroastrian turned his
back upon the world and girt up his loins in the service of an
idol. After some years he was overtaken by misfortune and wept
at the feet of the idol, saying, "I am afflicted - help
me, O idol! I am weary - have pity upon me."
Long did he continue in
his lamentation, but no benefit did he derive. How can an idol
accomplish the desires of a man when of itself it cannot drive
away a fly?
The idolater frowned and
said, "O thou, whose feet are bound to error! With folly
have I worshipped thee for years. Help me to fulfill my wishes,
or I will ask them of G-d."
While his face was yet besmeared
with the dust of the idol's feet, the Almighty fulfilled his
A pious man was astonished
when he heard this. Then did a voice from heaven speak into his
ear, saying, "This old man prayed before the idol, but his
prayer was not heard. If at the shrine of G-d he were likewise
spurned, what difference would there be between an idol and Him
Who is eternal?"