Holy Spirit, holy, holy ...

You can find an index of all the 31 Days of Encountering Judaism here.

The first Hebrew word I learned (putting aside words that turn out to be Hebrew in origin and I just didn't cotton on to it, like, you know, Hallejulah...) was: ruach.

The breath of God over the waters of creation. The Holy Spirit there at creation. I learned it in EfM as we studied the book of Genesis.

Holy Spirit.

Holy holy holy.

The Sanctus has been prayed in Christian services for a very long time. It is in Catholic, Episcopalian, Orthodox liturgies:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
So imagine my surprise when during the Bat Mitzvah service (my first Jewish worship service) and I hear:
Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh.
Everyone lifts up on their toes with each word. I feel slightly unbalanced and my eyes skip to the English translation ... holy, holy, holy ... could it be? The English translation in the Mishkan T'filah (Reform siddur) goes:
Holy, holy, holy is Adonai Tz'vaot! God's presence fils the whole earth. Source of our strength, Soverign one, how majestic is Your presence in all the earth! Blessed is the presence of God, shining forth from where God dwells...
That words used in Christian services have their root in Judaism? That we are closer kin than either side cares to admit?

I think there is so much potential here. For me in my personal faith journey and maybe beyond that. Who can say where God will lead?


  1. The common source is the Psalms. Our worship services, especially the Daily Offices, are basically all different parts of psalms and other scriptural songs woven together. Immerse yourself in the Offices and I bet you'll find lots of overlap.


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