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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

The Shape of Silence

I usually arrive a few minutes late to Tefillot in the morning.

When stepping into that holy space, usually during the silent Amidah, I am transformed, not by the words but by the silence. The words transform those who are praying. Are they lost in their prayer? I cannot know what their kavvanah (intention) is but I can reflect upon the silence in the room.

What is the Shape of Silence?



Like a purr

Silence in the room

Yes, you can hear a pin drop.

The wind blows in the room

Wind from the south

Warm and delicious

The heating system does not know

That it brings the sound of the wind

But it does




Like a warm breeze

Silence fills the air

small sounds escape into the silence

each sound magnified

Becoming part of the wind that swirls quietly

Into space

Occasional words

Spontaneous words



Tiptoe out of a crack in a heart

Soft words escape lips

Individual words knotted together

Form a tallit that flies

Into the silence

This silence is a gift

This package of silence

In it we can put our prayers

Our worries,

our cares,

our hopes, our dreams

My silence

Your silence

Our silence

Do you hear it?




Like a warm breeze

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