38 if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, 39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You.
Well, I didn’t know what a ‘Mizrah’ is, so this evening when I had a minute I did a quick web search to find out more. I found that ‘mizrah’ means ‘east’ and every observant Jewish home has one hanging on an inside eastern wall to point the direction toward the Land, Jerusalem and the Temple.
Mizrah can be stylized in many ways, as evidenced by an image search of the word. See all of these on Bing.
When I saw all of those images, the type and style along with the information contained in many struck and I jumped out of my office chair and ran into the living room to look at a picture we have hanging on our wall. Guess what? Not only is it a form of Mizrah, but it is hanging on the eastern wall right in front of where we sing the Shema and pray a couple times a day!!
I purchased this at the Shorashim Biblical Shop in the Old City on our first trip to Israel. After we had it matted and framed, only one place in the house seemed the ‘right’ place to hang it.
Wonder of wonders, this is a form of Mizrah with the twelve tribes named and pictured around an artistic rendering of the Temple. Our heart’s desire is the restoration of all Israel and the Mashiach on the throne with the Temple in our midst!
How cool is that??
Now, for those not familiar with facing the Temple to pray, take a look at 2 Chronicles chapter 6! Shlomo (Solomon) is very specific in his prayer of dedication that those in sin, those at war, those scattered/in diaspora, the foreigner/alien, etc who face the House of Prayer and seek our Father’s face, will be heard. It is not magical or tradition, it is biblical!
The mizrah, in every Jewish and Messianic home is a pointer, a sign, that reminds us to turn and face ‘the place where I cause My name to dwell’ when we pray as an act of contrition and obedience.
Serendipity! I learn something new and find our Father had already led us to taking care of that neat little tradition.