Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem

IMG_0678This is a private meditation. That is, I don’t expect that it speaks fully to or for anyone but me. I wrote it several months ago, but it didn’t feel complete. The final thoughts came to me this morning during my run. I added three lines and rearranged the paragraphs. Some of these rules only apply to my life in Jerusalem; some only to my life in Israel. Perhaps this will change as the depth of my experience here grows.

So, if it’s private, why am I posting it? To encourage you to write your own “Rules for Being You” meditation. I’m glad that I finished this piece before Yom Yerushalayim, which is May 8, 2013.

Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem
Smile at everyone.
Or, at least, nod in their direction.
Some may even smile back.
Don’t take offense if someone
Simply looks away,
Or never makes eye contact.
They aren’t used to it.

Speak your truth,
But only when it adds love
Or a blessing to the world.
Live your truth always.
No matter what.

Before Shabbat,
Put a loaf of bread where
Someone needy can find it.
Say a quick prayer for abundance,
Yours and theirs.

Look at everyone as if you can see
Directly into their hearts.
Their hearts hold joy and grief and love.
Like yours.

See the best in everyone,
Even when someone chooses to show you their worst.

Smile at women with babies. And men.
Not for them, for you.
You are seeing the future,
And it is beautiful.

Say Shabbat Shalom to everyone,
Even men without kippot.
We all deserve rest and peace.

There is holiness in the air.
Malchut and Tiferet
Are within your grasp.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: If you write your own “Rules” meditation, please take a moment to share on this page what it was like to write it. See also: “Jerusalem: A Meditation” and other prayers about Israel.

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Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

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7 Responses to “Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem”

  1. Tracey Kite

    Alden, this is truly beautiful. Thank you for posting it. I think I will print it and leave it where I can read it often. It speaks to a level of hope and faith that I aspire to and every once in a while manage to touch. Shalom.

  2. norman sider

    Thanks for another beautiful posting. I plan to  share it as a “Torah Minute” during next Friday morning minyan. Shavua tov. Norm Sider


  3. Justin

    I love this, Alden. After 5+ years here,it’s about time I wrote my rules. Here’s my start:
    Rule#1: Listens to rocks. They’ve been around longer than you, and their silence is wisdom.
    Rule #2: Feel the evening breeze on your face. That breeze has magic in it, like the desert it’s coming in from.
    Rule #3: Stick to those things you do with great passion and soul.
    Rule #4: Ride all you can. Your other kippa is a bike helmet.


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