Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Vaera 5775: I am Pharaoh

436px-Thutmosis_IIIIn this week’s Torah reading, and in last week’s, G-d tells Moses that G-d will harden Pharaoh’s heart. What does it mean for G-d to harden Pharaoh’s heart? In his commentary, Rabbi Shai Held explains that: “There comes a point when a person has become so totally entrenched in bad behavior that he simply loses the ability to choose any other path.” Practice bad behavior enough and it becomes a way of life. This new prayer is a reminder that we all have the potential to become like Pharaoh, or to emulate Moses, Miriam and Aaron.

I am Pharaoh
I am Pharaoh
When I willfully
Harden my heart
To beauty and holiness.

I am Pharaoh
When I willfully
Harden my heart
To love and tenderness.

I am Pharaoh
When I willfully
Ignore the call
Of the forgotten and oppressed.

Ancient One,
Open my heart
With joy and compassion.

I am like Moses
When I seek
The word of G-d
In the wilderness and on the mountain.

I am like Miriam
When I lead
Our people, rejoicing,
In celebration and song.

I am like Aaron
When I cleanse my heart,
To fulfill G-d’s command
In awe and righteousness.

G-d who led us out of slavery,
Through the desert
And into a new land:
Teach me to open my heart,
In loving service to You,
In loving service to Your people,
In loving service to Your creation.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other Passover prayers include: “Egypt Inside,” “The Season of Freedom” and “Elijah,” which appear in my second book, Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings. And here’s a listing of all of my Passover prayers.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

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

Leave a Reply

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 Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS