Happy Birthday to Karl Barth!

The theologian who labors without joy is not a theologian at all. Sulky faces, morose thoughts and boring ways of speaking are intolerable in this field.

Prayer without study would be empty. Study without prayer would be blind.

~Karl Barth (1886-1968)

Karl Barth

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Praying and Pooping

What has prayer got to do with sitting on the toilet?

Well, if you’re an Orthodox Jew, quite a bit it turns out!

The Asher Yatzar is a prayer included in many Jewish prayer books to be said every time a person evacuates their bowels. The purpose of the prayer is to thank G-d for the proper functioning of the human body.  Anyone who has had a blockage or other intestinal problems knows quite well how awful it can be when the body doesn’t function properly.  So I wholeheartedly commend you to recite the Asher Yatzar after nature calls:

“Blessed are You, Hashem our G-d, King of the universe, Who formed man with wisdom and created within him many openings and many hollows. It is obvious and known before Your Throne of Glory that if even one of them ruptures, or if even one of them becomes blocked, it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You (even for a short period). Blessed are You, Hashem, Who heals all flesh and acts wondrously.”