I am fresh off of a Call of the Shofar Seasons of Transformation workshop. One of the men told a story about the mitzrayim that we carry inside ourselves, the mitzrayim I carry in me. Mitzrayim, Egypt, the place of my physical bondage, is also the place of my spiritual bondage. This prayer, written two years ago, echoes that theme.
Today I repost this prayer in honor and tribute to the men and women who’ve taken the brave step of facing their personal mitzrayim in Call of the Shofar, the participants of this past weekend in Israel, the staff men and Shofar leadership. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.
This I confess to myself:
I have taken Egypt with me.
I’ve kept myself a slave to grief and loss,
Fear and anger and shame.
I have set myself up as task master,
Driving my own work beyond the limits
Of reasonable time and common sense.
I’ve seen miracles from heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
And still wait for the heavens to speak.
G-d of redemption,
With Your love and guiding hand leaving Egypt is easy.
Leaving Egypt behind is a struggle.
In Your wisdom You have given me this choice:
To live in a tyranny of my own making,
Or to set my heart free to love You,
To love Your people,
And to love myself.
G-d of Freedom, help me to leave Egypt behind,
To hear Your voice,
To accept Your guidance,
And to see the miracles in each new day.
Blessed are You, G-d of wonder,
You set Your people on the road to redemption.
© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: I also thank my brothers in The Mankind Project who encouraged me to participate in Call of the Shofar. Click here to read my prayers for and about men. Here’s what I wrote when I first posted this prayer on March 29, 2010: “Leaving Egypt is the quintessential Jewish metaphor for the road to freedom. Leaving is only the beginning of that road. Leaving Egypt behind, leaving slavery behind, is much more difficult.”
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