Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

To Find Home

Day five in Israel. After two days in Tel Aviv, I’m now in Haifa. On a solitary up-hill walk, it became clear that I’m here looking for something, but have no idea what it is. I don’t even have the words yet to ask the question, let alone find an answer. Then, suddenly, it struck me that I’ve lost the definition of the word ‘home.’

Addendum 12.16.2011: A week after I wrote this, still in Israel, the antidote to the yearning of this prayer came in the form of another piece called: “The Way Home.” I’ve been back in the US for six months and will return to Israel in less than three weeks.

To Find Home
Ancient One,
Without mast or sail,
Compass or sextant,
Tiller or anchor,
Stripped of pretense,
Raw and naked,
I look to You
To guide my way.

What shall I call home?
A land, a topography, a geography?
A place? A people?
History and memory?
A dwelling, a building, a house?
Safety, security, comfort?
A space inside of me?

G-d of Old,
The One who sent our ancestors on their journeys,
Lead me on a steady path,
A path of wholeness and love.
The path to my name.
The path to my home.

If the struggle is long, Amen.
If the struggle is swift, Amen.
When the path is rough, Amen.
When the path is smooth, Amen.
If the way is darkness, Amen.
If the way is light, Amen.
When I am lost, Amen.
When I return, Amen.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript:  One definition of home is clear: wherever I leave a piece of my heart. So there will always be a piece of home with my daughters, with my sisters, with my Mom. Perhaps that’s why my heart aches when someone leaves or dies. This is the second prayer that I’ve begun on this trip and the first that has reached a reasonable draft. Related prayers include: “Being Lost” and “For the Lost.”

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