Elul 3: Harlene Winnick Appelman


Harlene Winnick Appelman

“I wear prayers like shoes. Pull them on each morning to take me through uncertainty.” writes Ruth Forman, contemporary poet, in a work called I Wear Prayers Like Shoes. The poet goes on about the shoes: “They were mama’s gift to walk me through life. She wore strong ones.”

Imagine if everyone in the world were walking around on prayers! Truth is everyone has a shoe story: new shoes for that first day of school, new shoes for the High holidays, new shoes for a job or a new fitness program or a birthday, ball or wedding. And, in fact, those shoes and the stories that that go with them shape the steps by which we approach each day, each task or each event.

Putting on shoes each day is an act of faith. It shows purpose, determination, and a willingness to encounter the future. Elul is a month designed to take a faith inventory. What prayers would be included in your prayer shoes? What is the nature of the prayer shoes that you would give to a loved one?

The next time you have a chance for a leisurely conversation, ask about shoe stories. It’s a great topic for conversation!


Harlene Winnick Appelman is Executive Director of The Covenant Foundation.

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