Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

 

On the Birth of Grandchildren

Posted on: October 31st, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

When my daughter Dana saw me typing this prayer into the computer she said: “Don’t get any ideas.” I hope to have grandchildren someday, but not until my daughters are ready. If that days comes, I’ll be prepared with this prayer. See also: “On the Birth of a Child,” a prayer for parents. Both prayers will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

On the Birth of Grandchildren
In gratitude and thanksgiving,
Humbly and on bended knee,
We offer praise to You,
G-d Most High,
For the gift of grandchildren.
Bless them with prosperity and health,
Wisdom and strength,
Grace and happiness.
Bless them with well-being
And a sense of well-being.
May they thirst for Torah and Mitzvot,
And do honor to Your Holy Name.

Bless their parents with patience and understanding.
Bless their grandparents with joy and devotion.
Bless them at home,
Bless them on their way.
Bless them in study,
Bless them at play.
Bless them in love,
Bless them in heartache.
Shelter them,
Guide them,
Protect them,
Heal them in their time of need.
G-d of our ancestors,
Source and Comfort,
Love them as You love Your people Israel.

Blessed are You, Creator of All,
Father of Kindness, Mother of Wisdom, Gentle Teacher,
You renew Your people with new life, new love, new birth,
Generation after generation.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: For prayers about family, click here. See also: “On the Birth of a Child.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

For the Family Historian

Posted on: October 14th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This is a prayer for the one who holds the flame of family history. I wrote it in honor of our family historian, Irwin Keller. Irwin posted this prayer on a Jewish genealogy website and it was subsequently published in the spring 2010 edition of Morasha, the newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. It’s part of my series of prayers for family, including “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For Our Sisters.”

Please listen along as you read. (Click on the triangle in the slider bar below. The entire text follows.)

For the Family Historian
For the family historian,
        A song of thanksgiving.

Guardian of the family tree,
Keeper of our history,
We are blessed with your love and devotion,
Your tireless efforts to know our heritage,
Your work to keep us united,
Your joy in rediscovering brothers and sisters
Once separated, apart no more.
Your work reminds us to love and cherish the living,
To honor and praise the dead,
To embrace the lost,
To welcome each other home.

G-d of mystery and wonder,
Bless our family with strength and peace,
Wholeness and love,
Health and prosperity.
May sons and daughters find joy under the chupah.
May our parents be given long lives and easy deaths.
Bless us with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren,
So that the generations expand,
A wondrous celebration of Your gifts.

Blessed are You, G-d of our mothers and fathers,
Who delights in family wholeness and love.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers for family members include: “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For Our Sisters.”

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook.

For Our Brothers

Posted on: October 2nd, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

795px-Duke_Kahanamoku_sitting_with_brother_Sam_KahanamokuThis is a prayer to honor our brothers. It’s part of a series of prayers about rejoicing in family relationships, including: “For Our Sisters,” “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch” and a favorite of mine called “For the Family Historian.” This will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and HealingTo listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

For Our Brothers
For our brothers,
A chant of honor.

Brother, to have you is a blessing,
A gift of endurance and strength.
Your courage is my shield,
Your humor, my cloak,
Your humility, my guide,
Your vigor, my hope.
Your victories witness your confidence,
Your devotion
And your zeal.

You are my brother by birth
My brother by choice,
My brother through pain
And my brother in thanksgiving.

G-d of brotherly dignity and grace,
Bless our family with gratitude
And our brothers with enthusiasm, vitality and wonder.
May their devotion inspire us to justice and mercy.
Bless our lives with energy and prosperity
So that we become a source of healing in our lives
And in the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of brothers,
Who delights in brotherly love.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also: For Our Sisters,” “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch” and “For the Family Historian.” Note that this prayer is written to be used by both men and women to honor their brothers. As such, it’s not part of the body of prayers that I’ve written specifically for men.

If you use this prayer, please click take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

For Our Sisters

Posted on: September 5th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This prayer celebrates our sisters. I have two, Mara and Blair. I love them with all my heart. This prayer is part of a series rejoicing in family, including “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For the Family Historian.”

To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

For Our Sisters
For our sisters,
A dance of  joy.

Sister, to have you is a blessing,
A gift of grace and love.
Your dignity is my shield,
Your compassion, my cloak,
Your wisdom, my guide,
Your laughter, my hope.
Your triumphs witness your endurance,
Your purpose
And your power.
You are my sister by birth,
My sister by choice,
My sister through heartache
And my sister through blessings.

G-d of sisterly devotion and warmth,
Bless our family with understanding
And our sisters with passion, prosperity and peace.
May their devotion inspire us to kindness and service.
Bless our days with moments together,
Celebrations of love and loss,
So that we may bring renewal and rejoicing into our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of sisters,
Who delights in sisterly love.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postcsript: If you like this prayer, you may also like “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For the Family Historian.”

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.

My Child Leaves Home

Posted on: August 15th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

I spent the winter of 2011 helping my daughter Dana prepare for and move to L.A. where she’s building her life. Seeing this unfold is the same blessing I received helping my daughter Nikki move to Denver. Transitions are tough on young adults and their parents. I’m blessed seeing my daughters become amazing, wise and powerful women. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

My Child Leaves Home (A Parent’s Prayer)
Holy One,
Heavenly Guide,
My daughter / son is leaving home
To begin the adventure of an independent life.
Bless her / his journey with joy and wonder.
Let opportunity open like a rose before her / his eyes.
Be her / his compass and her / his shield.
Lead her / him on a path of discovery
Guided by the love of Torah,
A commitment to mitzvot,
And dedication to the Jewish people.
Bless her / him with mentors and teachers,
Companions and friends,
Scholars and rabbis,
To support and guide her / him along the way.

In this marvel,
In this glorious moment of growth fulfilled,
My heart struggles with contradictions:
Pride and fear,
Joy and grief,
Love and loss.
The landscape of my life is shifting,
Offering new challenges and new choices
In the very moment my child departs.
Give me the wisdom and the strength to honor my own life
With gentleness and courage,
And to embrace the beauty and promise of the time to come.

G-d of our fathers and mothers,
G-d of sacred transitions,
Bless my daughter / son
_______________ [child’s name in Hebrew or your native tongue]
As she / he sets out on this new life.
Keep her / him safe under the canopy of peace.
And lead her / him back home to me often
With stories of marvelous moments and amazing discovery.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
Who watches over the lives of our children.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: This is a prayer of affluence. I must remember the difference between American 18-year-olds and Israelis: our children, if they can, go to college; Israeli children, because they must, go into the Army. And in other places throughout the world, children go into slavery, stay bound in poverty or may be kidnapped into the sex trade. Yes, this prayer is a prayer of affluence. Just being able to say it is a blessing.

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.

On the Birth of a Child

Posted on: June 25th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Here’s a prayer to be said “On the Birth of a Child.” A quick note about the format. Word choices are identified with a slash (“/”). A version of his prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing

On the Birth of a Child
Precious child,
Wonder of creation,
You are proof of Divine love,
Witness to our Maker’s Glory,
Witness to the blessed partnership
Between humanity and G-d.
What makes me/us worthy of you?
What makes me/us able to gently guide you on your sacred path,
Your own journey to wisdom, charity, righteousness and Torah?

Father of the universe,
Mother of creation,
Be my guide and teacher,
As I/we parent this new life,
This precious gift.
Give me humility, compassion and wisdom
To teach Torah and Mitzvot
Through my actions and my life,
So that we become each other’s blessings.

Gracious G-d, be my/our partner in raising this child,
For this gift is not mine.
It is ours to nurture, to grow,
And to give back to the world for tikun olam.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: For prayers about family, click here. See also: “On the Birth of Grandchildren.”

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. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

For the Patriarch

Posted on: June 19th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Dad Me Key West 84081This prayer celebrates Dad. It’s part of a series of prayers for family including: “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters” and “For the Family Historian.” To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows. The photo is me and my dad in Key West, Florida, where I became a father for the first time.

 

For the Patriarch
For our patriarch,
A song of dignity and honor.

Guardian of mitzvot,
Keeper of truths,
Hand of protection and peace,
We are blessed with your humor and compassion,
Your zest for life
And your zeal for family.
You remind us to open our lives to G-d’s majesty and mystery
G-d’s justice and mercy.
You remind us to seek radiance and splendor,
Awe for creation and compassion for each other,
And choose joy over grief,
Laughter over tears.

G-d of fatherly patience and strength,
Bless our family with love
And our patriarch with vision, endurance and hope.
May his devotion inspire us to righteousness and charity,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with abundance
And our days with vigor,
So that we bring majesty and mystery to our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our fathers,
Who provides just and righteous men
In every generation.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: If you like this prayer, try: “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters” and “For the Family Historian.”

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: Alden Solovy

For the Matriarch

Posted on: May 9th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Ada Publicity ShotThis is part of a series of prayers celebrating family. Each begins with a psalm-like introduction and end with a blessing. The photo is one of my mother’s publicity shots from her career as an actress. Among her credits, she was a cast member of America’s first theater in the round, Circle Players, and was an early television star, including the show Mixed Doubles. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

For the Matriarch
For our matriarch,
A song of strength and hope.

Guardian of generations,
Keeper of traditions,
Hand of guidance and love,
We are blessed by your wisdom and purpose,
Your work to bind us to our heritage,
Your dedication to peace in our homes
And joy in our lives.
You remind us to open our hearts to our brothers and sisters,
Fathers and mothers,
Daughters and sons.
You remind us to honor and cherish cousins of cousins of cousins,
And to live together, in harmony,
By G-d’s holy word.

G-d of motherly wisdom and grace,
Bless our family with health
And our matriarch with vision, endurance and hope.
May her devotion inspire us to live by our highest ideals,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with laughter
And our days with purpose,
So that we bring radiance and splendor to our family
And to the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our mothers,
Who provides just and righteous women
In every generation.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: If you like this prayer, you may also like: “For the Patriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters”and “For the Family Historian.”

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 Courtesy of Adrian Solovy

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