Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

High Holy Days

800px-Shofar,_BRHere are prayers and stories for the Yamim Noraim, listed topically, with brief descriptions and links to each. Here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers. Click here to share these prayer with others on Twitter.

T’shuva (Repentance, Return)

Each of these three meditations begins with a prophetic voice, asking why we stay chained to our sorrows, then challenges us to see life as a sacred journey:

Living in Holiness

These prayers and meditations examine journey of a living a life of holiness, focusing on attributes (like humility) and practices (listening for G-d’s voice, doing G-d’s will):

Time

Prayers about the holiness of time and the sanctity of this period in the Jewish calendar, from Elul through the end of Sukkot and Simchat Torah:

  • Rhythms – On the contrasting rhythms of life, time moving in a straight line and holiness moving in circles.
  • The Season of Healing – The time for healing our souls and lives.
  • The Season of Return – The time of repentance and t’shuva.
  • History – A celebration of the gifts of history and memory.

For Creation and the New Year

Meditations  for the New Year, which is also Yom Harat Olam, the birthday of the world:

Vidui (Confession)

Meditations on confession:

Neilah (Yom Kippur Closing Service)

Prayers as the day ends and our hearts yearn:

Death and Mourning

For an annotated list of Memorial and Yizkor prayers, click here. Here are prayers about preparing for one’s own death:

  • Near the End: A Meditation – A meditation on preparing for the journey of my own death with grace and dignity, awe and wonder.
  • Remember – A call back to our deepest sense of well-being.
  • Gather Me – Comfort in the idea of being gathered to our people.
  • Things Break – As we face endings and beginnings, G-d’s love remains.
  • Angel of Rest – When the angel of death arrives.

Stories

Here are two short, short stories for the holidays:

  • Cantor Cohen – A Yom Kippur story of a Chazzan preparing to lead his congregation in prayer, repentance and righteousness.
  • Motyl the Fool – A Simchat Torah story about a man who loves Torah, a man who feels the fire of G-d’s word.

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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

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