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Rosh Hashanah Prayers: Avinu Malkeinu: The Full Cup Print E-mail

Rosh HashanahOur Father, Our King, fill our hands from Your blessings.
Our Father, Our King, fill our storehouses with abundance.

Nan-in, a Japanese Zen master during the Mejii era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”

“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” - 101 Zen Stories

Many of the great teachers of Prayer advocate standing before God with “an empty cup,” as if we have nothing.

I suggest that rather than say we have nothing, that we picture our containers as having infinite room to receive blessing. We do not have to empty our cups, but to appreciate that the more we acknowledge what we do have; the larger the container we present to God to fill with blessing.
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