Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Two Ravens

This is the first of what will certainly be several new pieces inspired by my renewed learning at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies. The idea that the raven Noah sent from the ark after the flood foreshadowed ravens feeding the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17:4) came up in Rabbi Meir Schweiger‘s Tanach class. The timing was uncanny. At the time I was enjoying The Key of Rain, co-authored by my teacher Rav Mike Feuer, which uses that prophecy in the story. Meanwhile, my Rambam class, taught by Rabbi Levi Cooper, was learning Hilchot Yesodi HaTorah on prophecy. The final stanza of this piece alludes to Masechet Brachot Mishna 1:1 from my class with Raḥel Berkovits.

Two Ravens
Two ravens
Flying over the hills
Can be seen
As messengers of G-d
If you look
With prophet’s eyes.

A fox
Scavenging in the Temple ruins
Can be seen
As a sign of redemption
If you look
With sage’s eyes.

You children of Israel,
You are surrounded by mysteries,
Bathed in holiness,
The light bursting freely from ancient wisdom.
If only you would look with your heart.
If only you would see with your soul.
Then, the secrets of gratitude and wonder
Would dance with you
Like wedding guests
Yearning for communion
With G-d’s Holy Word.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and

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Postscript:  This piece comes as a bit of a surprise, inasmuch as it reflects a synthesis of learning from multiple teachers from materials both in and out of class. In the past, my experience of being inspired by Jewish learning has been that one class meeting can (but doesn’t necessarily) lead to one new idea and one new prayer.

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 Source: The Key of Rain, cover illustration used with permission

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