Guest Writers: Avi Dell and Ze’eva Berman

This is a mash-up of two prayers written in my “Introduction to Creative Liturgy” class at HUC-JIR in Jerusalem. Ze’eva Berman (cantorial) and Avi Dell (rabbinical) are first-year students there. The first in-class assignment was to write a prayer for a moment of personal challenge. After hearing the prayers separately, I asked them to read the prayers together, alternating between them line-by-line. It fit. Afterward, Avi and Ze’eva reworked the combined prayer slightly, using it in student-led t’fillah. To capture in print the feeling of hearing it out loud, the alternative verses are in standard type (Ze’eva) and italics (Avi). This post is part of new addition to this space: occasionally featuring guest writers.

I feel shaken and I feel scared.
Spiritual awakening is at your door.

I don’t know what will happen
And I don’t know how it will feel.
Cling not to whom you were before.

Stay with me through my grief, my joy, my emptiness.
Steady me with your constant presence of love.

Knowing that in your final scene,
You deserve to be anywhere but in-between.

© Ze’eva Berman and Avi Dell. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: Read the prayer of my first Guest Writer, Eliza Scheffler, also an HUC-JIR student, by clicking here, and my second guest writers, pupils at Temple Beth Jacob, Concord, NH, by clicking here.

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.

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