How should we related to the unanswered prayers of an entire people? Perhaps an answer can be found in the fact that we base the order of the central prayer of our liturgy on a prayer that was not in fact granted.
Some say that Jewish liturgy focuses more on duty than on love. But is this true? Or is it that the type of love in Jewish prayer is no longer in style? This is not the philosopher’s “Intellectual Love of God”. There is no expectation of love without reciprocation, rather this is a relationship.
Is there room in Judaism for the quest to transcend life, to let go of all the ties to earthly existence? The yearning for transcendence has been embodied in the Kabbalah, and later in the Hassidic movement which grew out of the attempt to actualize the Kabbalistic worldview. However, the mystical tendency has usually been marginalized in practice. Why? The answer may lie in the connection between death and transcendence.