Meditation on the Eve of a New Year

Rosh Hashana 5775 Card ChabadA new meditation — written this morning — as the year 5774 comes to an end. May 5775 bring hope, blessing and peace. Instructions for using this meditation are found in [brackets]. May you have a year of health and happiness, joy and laughter, livelihood, sustenance, prayer and love.

Meditation on the Eve of a New Year
Dear G-d,
We stand at the cusp of a New Year,
Looking forward, looking backward,
So much accomplished,
So much neglected,
Gains and losses,
Joys and sorrows,
Victories and defeats.
A life.
My life.

G-d of Old,
You are Steadfast Witness,
Source and Shelter.
I bend my heart to You,
Recalling these gifts:

[Part 1: Think about, say out loud or write down blessings in your life, including: people, places, events and things. Be specific: a son, daughter, niece, nephew, brother or sister, by name; a wedding a birth or other joyous occasion, with names; seeing a sunrise or a rare bird; a favorite shirt, a new bed, a home repair or expansion; a new job. See how beautifully detailed and long you can make the list, seeing the many blessings that flow through your life.]

[Part 2: If you can, name the blessings that arose from sorrows, for example: a merciful death, an end to suffering or beautiful eulogy for someone, by name; rebuilding after a disaster; potential new life after a divorce. Don’t force it; be true to how you actually feel, not how you think you ‘should’ feel. If you can, try to see how, sometimes, even in times of sorrow there can be gifts.]

My G-d,
For consolation in my grief,
For sunlight and midnight,
For hope in my celebrations,
For warmth and for shelter,
For current and tide,
For family and for friends,
For the flow of beauty and grace,
I bend my life back to You,
As the New Year descends,
In love and in service,
My offering
To Your Holy Name.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a related meditation called “Another Year: An Introspection” and a link to prayers and stories for the Yamim Noraim, the High Holy Days, listed by topic, some of which my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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