Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Articles by Alden

Limmud Ma’alot , August 19, 2021
Singing Pervasive Peace on Rosh HaShanah
“This Rosh Hashanah, let us renew our prayers for large and beautiful dreams of peace…”

RavBlog, August 19, 2021
Pervasive Peace: A Musical Prayer for Erev Rosh HaShanah
“Reform liturgist Alden Solovy shares a Rosh HaShanah prayer, set to music by cantorial soloist Rebecca Schwartz…”

Times of Israel, July 29, 2021
A Meditation for Men on Women in Political Power
“’Esteemed Colleague’ is a meditation for men in politics on women in political power.”

RavBlog, June 21, 2021
Three Weeks of Sorrow, Seven Weeks of Consolation
“…on the tension between joy and sorrow during the Jewish summer months…”

RavBlog, Mar. 25, 2021
Hallel in a Minor Key
“…how do we sing God’s praises during a time of catastrophe or pandemic…”

RitualWell, Jan. 25, 2021
Three Practices of Gratitude
“…three gratitude practices that I call “seeing the good,” “speaking the good,” and “praying the good.”

Times of Israel, Oct. 10, 2020
Precious Creation
“The word ‘precious’ appears five times in four verses of V’zot Hab’rachah…”

RitualWell, Apr. 5, 2020
Prayers of the Heart: A Review of Rabbi Dov Singer’s Prepare My Prayer
“For those alienated from prayer, there’s only one path back: pray…”

Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Apr. 5, 2020
A Hebrew Prayer of Healing from Coronavirus
“The story behind the prayer follows afterward…”

Times of Israel, Mar. 20, 2020
Let’s Be Careful in Here
“Let’s keep ourselves safe at home during the pandemic…”

RavBlog, Mar. 19, 2020
Gratitude and Tears: Finding Hope During COVID-19
“…getting through the COVID-19 isolation will be easier for me if I seek out moments of gratitude…”

Times of Israel, Mar. 6, 2020
Prayers in a Time of Pandemic
“Here are three new prayers, written this past week, as we face the unknowns and perils of coronavirus…”

ReformJudaism.org, Feb. 18, 2020
Here’s What’s So Ironic About the Upcoming Israeli Elections…
“Here we go again. Back at it. Another election in Israel…”

RavBlog, Dec. 13, 2019
In Unity and Hope
“…in response to the many conversations around politics, policy, and the many challenges facing Jews in America and beyond…”

URJ Inside Leadership, Dec. 9, 2019
A Prayer for the URJ Biennial 2019
“…Bless the organizers and participants in the URJ Biennial 2019 to come together in holy convocation, as a joyous congregation, in rockin’ jubilation, and holy celebration…”

RitualWell, Oct. 25, 2019
12 One-Line Prayers from Pittsburgh Jews
“…People wrote their prayers on 3×5 index cards…”

Times of Israel, Oct. 24, 2019
12 One-Line Prayers from Pittsburgh Jews
“…Twelve people gave me those cards with permission to share them…”

ReformJudaism.org, Oct. 19, 2019
An Honest Person in the Garden?
“Until the Garden of Eden, Adam had no agency…”

Times of Israel, Oct. 2, 2019
Jerusalem’s Role in a New Martyrology for Pittsburgh
“…A new memorial volume out of Pittsburgh includes the ‘rapid-response’ prayer I could barely bring myself to write…”

Times of Israel, Sept. 27, 2019
Pervasive Peace: A 5780 Prayer
“…a simple, one-line prayer to set a tone for the year…”

ReformJudaism.org, Aug. 5, 2019
Why Liberal Israelis (Like Me) Need You
“We need each other. We vote here… You vote there…”

RitualWell, Aug. 5, 2019
Fighting Guns with Prayer
“…Prayer can give strength to activists. Prayer can remind us of our best selves, helping to galvanize action….”

Times of Israel, July 29, 2019
#IamResponsible for a world of healthy masculinity
“…it’s time to say clearly that we do not condone any sex — or any other behavior — that humiliates women…”

RavBlog, July 23, 2019
Finding a Finkelstein: The Art of Learning to Pray
“…the deep indescribable experience of prayer will meet the fountain of wisdom that is our siddur…”

RitualWell, Jan. 7, 2019
Communal Acts of Private Intimacy: A Review of Trisha Arlin’s Place Yourself
“…Arlin’s work troubles us where we are too comfortable and comforts us when we are troubled…”

RavBlog, Dec. 17, 2018
Blackboards in Pittsburgh
“…I took those answers and created ‘Rededication, A Hanukah Prayer from Pittsburgh’ …”

ReformJudaism.org, Nov. 30, 2018
Ma’oz Tzur for Pittsburgh: A Reading for Hanukkah
“It needed to resonate deeply as a Hanukkah prayer…”

RavBlog, Nov. 16, 2018
A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings
“Writing ‘responsa prayer’ is one of the roles of a modern liturgist…”

RitualWell, Oct. 10, 2018
The Mourner’s Way: A Review of Rabbi Me’irah Iliinsky’s Mapping the Journey
“…a bold effort to create a visual spiritual map for mourners…”

Times of Israel, Sept. 9, 2018
The Wind in the Hollow Bone
“…the ba’al tokeiah is the wind in the hollow bone, the breath that brings out the kolot shofar…”

RavBlog, Sept. 6, 2018
‘Gates’ as an Enduring Metaphor
“We are, in truth, always standing at the gates of heaven…”

ReformJudaism.org, Sept. 3, 2018
Two Musicians and A Liturgist: Creating Music for the New Year
“…our team plans more, possibly an album release in 2019 or 2020…”

Times of Israel, July 25, 2018
God Loves Reform Jews
“God held the stone back until no one would be hurt…”

ReformJudaism.org, July 24, 2018
After This Tishah B’Av, I Am Sick with Sorrow and Sadness
“I saw Jewish youths purposefully antagonizing Arab youths…”

RavBlog, July 17, 2018
Modern Voice, Ancient Yearning
“Contemporary liturgy is a response to the call of the siddur and the call of our hearts…”

Times of Israel, May 17, 2018
Lamentation from Both Sides of the Fence
“Let this wailing crack open our hearts to each other…”

ReformJudaism.org, Sept. 13, 2017
My Cough, My Kippah, and a New Jew
“Our Reform tent is huge. Big enough to welcome anyone who wants to cast their lot with this people…”

RavBlog, Nov. 14, 2017
The Relevance of Prayer in the Face of Tragedy
“Prayer can be a potent and important part of the solution…”

RavBlog, Nov. 3, 2017
A New Amen
“Perhaps it is time for a new ‘amen,’ an amen of action…”

Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2017
Sin Offering
“The strangest, most perplexing confessional prayer comes immediately after Yom Kippur has ended…”

ReformJudaism.org, Sept. 13, 2017
A Rosh HaShanah Prayer for Our Clergy
“Our clergy carry our communities on their backs…”

RitualWell, Sept. 12, 2017
Now and Forever, S’lichot
“…on the evening of our penitential prayers, we live simultaneously in the shadows of our past and in the flow of what might be…”

ReformJudaism.org, Aug. 29, 2017
Prayer is Beautiful: Scenes from a Diverse Hebrew Class
“In Jerusalem, it’s easy to question our future living side-by-side…”

ReformJudaism.org, July. 27, 2017
Jumu’ah Mubaarakah and Shabbat Shalom
“There’s a test on everything here these days…”

RitualWell, May 25, 2017
Almost Home: Omer 45, Tiferet sh’be’Malchut
“I can feel the energy of the mountain. There are gifts awaiting…”

ReformJudaism.org, May 23, 2017
On Yom Yerushalayim, Pour Out a Few Drops of Wine
“On Yom Yerushalayim, I will pour a few drops of wine onto the ground to remember the suffering of the Palestinians…”

RitualWell, May 10, 2017
Fantastic Prayers and Where to Find Them
“Every time we say the Kedusha, we enact a stunning debate between fantastic holy beings envisioned in dream-states…”

Times of Israel, April 29, 2017
Remember My Heart
“This new meditation for Yom HaZikaron, imagines a prayer that might be said by the soldiers and terror victims…”

RavBlog, Apr. 27, 2017
Heroic Prayer: Climbing out of a Pit of Sorrow into Vitality
“When we share our deepest desires with God, we offer a kind a praise…”

RitualWell, Apr. 20, 2017
The Long Road Ahead: Omer 10, Tiferet sh’be’Gevurah
“Something pivotal happens on the 10th day of counting the Omer…”

RavBlog, Mar. 22, 2017
Collecting Rabbis
“As a young boy, it seemed to me, being a rabbi was a profound and precious use of a Jewish soul…”

RitualWell, Mar. 21, 2017
Freedom and Responsibility
“If the story of the Exodus was just about freedom from slavery it wouldn’t have become our foundational story…”

RavBlog, Mar. 13, 2017
There is No Moment Too Small or Too Large for Gratitude
“We are surrounded by holiness. By beauty. By wonder and awe…”

ReformJudaism.com, Feb. 24, 2017
“This Grateful Heart” Connects Us to the Flow of Time and Seasons
“After dawn but before sunrise, when the birds begin to sing in harmony, I pick up my small Moleskine notebook to write prayers…”

RavBlog, Feb. 21, 2017
The Story Behind ‘Come, Rain’
“ ‘Come, Rain’ is not only a prayer for rain, it’s a metaphor for the blessings of love…”

Times of Israel, Feb. 19, 2017
Call to Prayer
“It takes spiritual discipline to hear a daily morning intrusion of over-amplified sound as a call to prayer…”

RitualWell, Feb. 1, 2017
The Paradox of Brokenness
“You are not broken. Neither am I. Strange assertion from a man who carries deeps wounds…”

Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2017
For Torah and Kotel…
“Today, we reaffirm our pledge to continue: the resistance of prayer, the insistence on civil rights, the persistence of disobedience…”

ReformJudaism.com, Jan. 10, 2017
Two Prayers for Inauguration Day
“These prayers attempt to answer two seemingly conflicting questions…”

RitualWell, Jan. 10, 2017
In Search of a Prayer for the New President
“No single prayer will be adequate to address the issues raised by this administration.”

RitualWell, Nov. 7, 2016
On Politics and Prayer
“The Torah understands that the need for peace and prosperity transcend the politics of the day…”

RitualWell, Aug. 17, 2016
The King and Queen in the Field
“Perhaps it’s time to re-imagine the King metaphor—much more like that of the Sabbath Queen—simple and clear…”

Times of Israel, Aug. 9, 2016
Love, Hate and the Tisha b’Av Fast
“You who hate so freely, is this the fast that God requires…”

Tablet Magazine, July 27, 2016
Can Pictures Enhance Prayer?
“…the Nehalel beChol siddur, and its Shabbat companion, are a major contribution to the bookshelf of Jewish prayer books…”

RitualWell, July 26, 2016
One is Everything
“We’re surrounded by the death of innocents. Orlando. Nice. Dallas. Tel Aviv…”

Times of Israel, July 24, 2016
The Kotel Weeps
Sinat chinam is alive and well at the Kotel…”

RitualWell, July 19, 2016
Two Fathers Grieving
“Listen to the voices of two fathers in Israel—grieving for their sons—as they speak about justice and the path to peace…”

Times of Israel, June 13, 2016
‘Blood Everywhere’
“The massacre must be understood as a targeted attack against the LGBT community…”

RitualWell, June 9, 2016
The Rhythm of Wonder: A Prayer for Radical Amazement
“Wonder and awe are as huge as the universe and as tiny as a bud on the caper bush…”

RitualWell, May 16, 2016
Dead of a Broken Heart
“…the traumatic brain injury that claimed Ami’s life was not the real cause…”

Times of Israel, May 15, 2016
WOW Lost its Way
“It traded the goal of women’s prayer at the Kotel for administrative control of egalitarian prayer at Robinson’s Arch…”

Jewish Book Council,  March 17, 2016
Hijacking the Language of Holiness
“It’s an epic betrayal…the destruction of Jewish women’s rights at the hands of other Jews.”

Forward: The Sisterhood, February 23, 2016
Is the Kotel Compromise Another Status Quo?
“For whatever perceived political victory this may bring, the cost is far too high. It’s a spiritual loss…”

Times of Israel, February 5, 2016
Giving Away the Kotel
“The deal plays into the hands of the Haredi extreme…”

Times of Israel, November 4, 2015
Five (Key) Things to Know about Reform Judaism
“Here are five things you should actually know about the Reform Movement in America today…”

Times of Israel, October 27, 2015
Truth about the Men Who Hate WOW
“…those who use boorish language, physical violence, attempted intimidation and unbridled nastiness… simply hate women…”

Times of Israel, October 14, 2015
WOW Kotel First: Yeshiva Bocher Shuts Down Rant
“When the women began to pray and sing, one of the regular hecklers began shouting from the men’s side his usual rant…”

RJBlog, October 9, 2015
Choppers over Jerusalem
“Some are saying that this wave of violence is the beginning of a third Intifada. Thankfully, that’s still premature…”

Times of Israel, July 18, 2015
A Response to the ‘Chief Rabbi’ of the Kotel Plaza
“The Kotel is big, but you’ve made the plaza small. Small in vision. Small in welcome. Small in peace…”

The Good Men Project, May 28, 2015
To the Man Who Stomped on Me for Helping Women Pray
“Real men stand with brave women. We stand with women who fight injustice…”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, May 10, 2015
My Message to the Man Who Attacked Me at the Kotel
“I’m disgusted by your behavior. You are the face of sinat chinam, baseless hatred by Jew against Jew…”

Guideposts, January 25, 2015
To Pray is to Remember
“Once, in the midst of thunder and silence, I stood at Mount Sinai to hear the word of God…”

Times of Israel, January 12, 2015
In the Cardo, Psalm 121
“I listened and said a prayer for peace…”

Times of Israel, January 4, 2015
Kippah, meet Limmud
“My Kippah is rather larger, designed to be a bit of a decoy…”

Times of Israel, November 23, 2014
36 Prayed with Jerusalem
“In the U.S., Canada and the UK, 36 synagogues were praying for Jerusalem, as well.”

Times of Israel, July 18, 2014
Last Night, In the Arab Shuk, or Why I Hate this War
“Our sons and daughters have gone into the fray and I am waging my own war, a battle of cognitive dissonance.”

Times of Israel, April 4, 2014
Put that Heart Back Where it Belongs
“Imagine this: reading a handwritten note from the man who carries your dead wife’s heart inside his chest.”

Times of Israel, April 1, 2014
I’ve Got Your Back
“Here, to the best of my memory, is a recreation of my Kotel interview about praying in support of Women of the Wall.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 13, 2013
Rejecting the Title of Modern-Day Job
“I’m not Job. Job lost it all. His children. His family. His household. His wealth. Everything. I’m simply a man living life on life’s terms. Joy comes with sorrow. Love comes with loss. People fall down. People die.”

Times of Israel, September 8, 2013
Cry No More: Three Prayers, Two Visions and a Fire
“I still remember that feeling, the deep sense that every individual prayer makes a difference, the knowledge that my prayers make a difference.”

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