Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Oh You Hills, Oh You Sands

SONY DSCI wrote this after meditating on the sand dunes of the Arava, a rift valley in the southern Negev. The meditation was led by staff from Kibbutz Ketura and Ben Gurion University. The assignment: go off in silence to think about the desert and what it evokes. Then, after 20 minutes, write about it. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.


Oh You Hills, Oh You Sands
Speak to me
Oh you hills.
Did my father pass this way?
Did my mother draw water
From some secret well?
Did I dream of angels and blessings?
Or will the man I am
Wrestle all night
With the man
I am yet to be?

Speak to me
Oh you sands.
What ancient beauty have you captured?
What silent yearning springs up
To water my heart?
What treasures do you
Still hold dear?

Let me know the music of your valleys.
Let me hear the heart beat
Beneath your thousand stones.
Let me remember
The ancient promise of home.

Speak to me
From the place where
Desert and sky meet
In perfect silence,
In perfect wisdom,
In perfect love.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are additional prayers about Israel. For the sticklers among you, this photo was taken in Nachal Peres in the Negev near Masada, not in the Arava.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Alden Solovy

Thank You for Your Support
Your contribution helps support the creation of new prayers available to all on this site.

8 Responses to “Oh You Hills, Oh You Sands”

  1. Genevieve

    Thank you for sharing, Alden… This is so beautiful and I will long remember your first reading at the kibbutz, as well as your beautiful and emotional intro with Judith…

  2. faithfulwhistler

    Dear Alden, thank you for putting this up online. Hesitated to ask you about it, because a poem is such a personal way of expressing oneself. I think everyone who comes here will be touched reading it though.
    (Judith, OSP 2012)

  3. carolnemitz

    Your prayer takes me there….tears…..sharing on my fb page! Will include your copy-write line and a picture of Israel.


Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS