Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

 

First Coffee

Posted on: February 14th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

This is a bit of whimsy wrapped in a classic prayer. I have for some time thought about writing a prayer for the first coffee of the day. One morning, as I said modeh ani, our traditional one-line prayer on waking up, it hit me: Thank you, G-d, for restoring coffee to me! This two-part prayer combines a lighthearted adaptation of the modeh ani with the customary prayer before drinking coffee.

First Coffee
I offer thanks to You, ever-living Sovereign, for You have restored my coffee to me in mercy, how great is Your trust.
.מוֹדֶה / מוֹדָה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי הַקָפֶה שֶׁלִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶך
Modeh / Modah anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, shehechezarta bee hacaffe sheli b’chemla, raba emunatecha.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G‑d, Sovereign of the universe, by Your word all things came to be.
ֹ .בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אלהינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרו
Baruch atah Adonai, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam shehakol nihiyah bed’varo.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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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Let’s Hike Together in Israel

Posted on: April 13th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

I wrote this meditation — “On the Trail” — after 17 days thru-hiking and  mountaineering on Mount Rainier. In Israel, I’m still an avid hiker. So… let’s go hiking together! Really. When we’re done sheltering in place, Via Sabra – the experiential Israel tour pros – and I invite you to hike with me in my spiritual Israel. We’ll have a professional tour guide describing the land and plan a variety of cultural and culinary experiences. For those inclined, I’ll lead a variety of spiritual experiences. If you’re interested in finding our more, drop me an email.

On the Trail
G-d of beginnings,
G-d of mystery and adventure,
The path is steep,
The route is hidden,
The trail a narrow ridge line,
Exposed and treacherous,
Slicing between majestic canyons,
Rising to the awesome sky.
The load is heavy, the destination unknown,
But the journey has rhythm and dance,
Song and story,
Ancient music that rises around us,
To take us from sunset to sunset
As we move into the glorious unknown
Step by step,
Moment by moment,
Day by day by day.

G-d of the wayfarer,
G-d of the traveler and sojourner,
Divine light of wonder and truth,
Lead us.
Show us the way
Across vast open spaces
And through tight, narrow passages.
Guide us.
Show us the way
Through stormy days
And moonless nights.

Blessed are You, Source and Shelter,
Guide and Compass, Oasis of Strength,
You lead Your people from trail to trail,
From trial to trial,
From darkness to light,
With love.

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

Postscript: This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer. It was first published on April 4, 2010.

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.

Photos of Alden Solovy

The Blessing of Faces: A Zoom Prayer

Posted on: March 30th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

This prayer is inspired by the array of faces of men I love on a Zoom call. It is, in fact, a poetic version of the blessing that Steve Stanley — a ritual elder in the ManKind Project — gave to the men of ManKind Project Israel on our first virtual Community Tent, a meeting of all MKP Israel men. The idea is his; the words are (mostly) mine. Use this prayer to open Zoom calls. This is my second prayer inspired by the new reality of living with coronavirus. The first is called “Sheltering in Place.” Links to my health-related coronavirus prayers are below.

The Blessing of Faces
So many beautiful faces,
So many radiant souls,
Shining forth
Into our hearts.

Look at those eyes.
The smiles.
The hopes. The fears.
The yearning. The questioning.
The compassion.
The love.

Take it in.
Take it all in.
The tenderness.
The humanity.
The blessing of faces
Arrayed before you.
The blessing of faces,
Given,
And received.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com

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Postscript: See also: “On the Front Lines of the Pandemic,” “Healing from Coronavirus“, “Coronavirus: A Prayer for Medical Scientists” and “Traveler’s Prayer in a Time of Pandemic.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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: Zoom Help Center

Receiving Blessings

Posted on: December 29th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This prayer is my blessing for you for 2019. It’s about opening our hearts to receiving blessings. In this New Year, may we bless each other and be open to being blessed. This prayer appears in my new book, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

Receiving Blessings
Ancient One,
Open my heart to receive
The blessings around me,
Kindness and wisdom,
Friendship and understanding,
Tenderness and compassion,
Moments of holiness,
Messages from heaven.

Source and Shelter,
Why can’t I bless others
With the fullness of my being
With joy and thanksgiving,
From a hope for healing
And a pulse of love,
To fill the world with benedictions?

Rock and Redeemer,
Grant me the ability to see and to hear
The blessings around me,
A fountain of love
To fill my soul
With gratitude and courage,
With joy and peace.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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 Poached Egg

Looking Back at Our Long Marriage

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A simple prayer to be said after years and years of marriage. Here’s a related prayer, a “Blessing for a Spouse / Partner.” And for those just starting out, here are two more: “Bind Our Hearts” and “My Life in Yours.”

Looking Back at Our Long Marriage
Where has the time gone?
The days. The memories.
Where will time lead us?

Thank you, my dear,
For the years of devotion,
And the blessing of forgiveness.
For the seasons of laughter,
And the blessing of tears.

It was something, you and me, wasn’t it?
It still is, although most of the seasons are behind us.
We will celebrate and rejoice,
Mourn and love,
As we always have.

Thank you, G-d of love,
For this amazing marriage.
Watch over us
As we grow old together.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY: Thanks to CCAR Press for offering a 30% off sale on This Grateful Heart for my birthday. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, go to grateful.ccarpress.org  and use the code Alden30 at checkout. It’s valid for 24 hours and takes 30% off the retail price, making it $10.46, plus shipping.

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 Credit: Caroline’s Journal

On Handing Down a Jewish Heirloom

Posted on: March 18th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This is an expansion of my prayer “On Handing Down an Heirloom Tallit at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.” The idea for that prayer came from a member of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, whom I met while serving as their 5776 Yom Kippur Scholar. I have three heirloom tallitot to pass along. That got me thinking about the other heirloom Judaica I hold. Blank lines are for personalizing the prayer; other instructions are in [brackets]; word choices are identified with a slash (“/”). Both prayers appear in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

On Handing Down a Jewish Heirloom
Dear __________,
At this moment/time/season of your __________ (event),
I/We bequeath this __________ (item)
To you as a symbol of my/our love for you
And in the hope that it will keep you connected to our history and our heritage.
This __________ (item) was _________ [background of the heirloom].

May this moment be the beginning of a miraculous journey.
May this __________ (item) become a cherished symbol of your Jewish life,
A reminder of our family’s devotion to you,
A reminder of this special day/season.
May it be God’s will that one day
You pass it to the next generation, in love.

G-d of our fathers and mother,
Bless my/our _______ [identify the relationship, such as daughter, grandson, niece]
With health and prosperity
Wisdom and happiness,
A life of blessings and peace.
How splendid is this moment!
How amazing in beauty, hope and joy!
My heart is full.

.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אלהינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’imanu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Our praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

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

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Postscript: Related prayers include: “Meditation on a Child’s First Torah Reading,” “Bind and Wrap,” “Light of G-d” and “Gathering, A Dream of Reunion.”

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: Skinner: Auctioneers and Appraisers

I Sing

Posted on: January 7th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A prayer about song in honor of the amazing musicians filling the world with new Jewish music. The format — 6x6x3, six lines of six words in three stanzas — is inspired by the Facebook group I created where people share their Six Word Prayers. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

I Sing
I sing because G-d made music,
To lift our hearts and souls
From the hollow depths of darkness
To the highest heights of heaven,
From the cold shadows of desire
To the gates of radiant hope.

I sing because G-d made music,
To mark the moments of wonder,
To sanctify the moments of sorrow,
To soothe, to comfort, to gladden,
To cradle us with infinite harmony,
To rock us with eternal love.

I sing because G-d made music,
To give our souls a trumpet,
To give our wisdom a tambourine,
To give our prayers a voice,
To make our lives a song,
With the instruments of G-d’s blessings.

© 2021 CCAR Press from This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer

Postscript: Other prayers about song include: “We are Music,” “To Hear Me Sing,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.”

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: ClipArtLook

Sacred Silly

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This playful and unexpected prayer/poem makes fun of my own seriousness about writing prayers and liturgy. And I need a break from the intensity of affairs in both my allegiances, Israel and the U.S. This prayer appears in This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings and includes a line from Psalm 100: “Serve Adonai with gladness…”

Sacred Silly
Wouldn’t it be fun,
Just one time,
To secretly slip a goofy prayer
Inside the siddur,
Say, in the middle of the Amidah,
Where an unsuspecting Yid
Like you or me
Might just crack up
In sacred silliness,
Holy happiness,
Loving laughter,
As a testimony
To the juicy joy
Of Jewish jubilation?

So serious
These liturgists,
These poets and paytanim.
Let’s g’faw for God.
Let’s laugh out loud in praise.
Let’s giggle in thanksgiving.

.עבדו את-ה’ בשׂמחה, בֹאו לפניו ברננה
Iv’du et Adonai b’shimcah, bo-u le’fanav birnanah.
Serve Adonai with gladness, come before G-d’s presence with singing.

Let joy rise up to the gates of prayer.
Let laughter shake the highest heavens.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, 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. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

Photo Source: David Goehring on Flicker

Prayer of Joy

Posted on: March 19th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

joy-with-white-backgroundThis is a prayer of gratitude for joy, with a reminder to live joy as a daily spiritual practice. It’s a meditation for daily use when time is brief. It’s in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Prayer of Joy
G-d,
Thank You for joy and delight,
For wonder and awe,
For moments of gladness and celebration.
Grant me the ability to breathe gentleness
Into my hours and seasons,
So that I live awake to beauty,
To holiness,
To the radiance that surrounds us.
Grant me the wisdom to arrive each day
With passion and humor,
With song and dance,
With smiling eyes,
In service to myself,
In service to others,
In service to Your Holy Name.

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

Postscript: This piece originally appeared on March 29, 2013, this site as “Quick Prayer of Joy.” It appears in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Please check out my Meet the Author video 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 Credit: ThyBlackMan.com

Gratitude for Work

Posted on: March 5th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

First-Day-on-JobThis is a simple prayer of gratitude for having a job. It can be easy to take for granted at times, especially with a challenging job or a difficult boss. This prayer appears in the Labor Day section of This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day, along with a social justice prayer “Against Worker Exploitation.” Optional language appears in [brackets].

Gratitude for Work
God on high,
I’m grateful for the opportunity to work,
To contribute,
To provide for my well-being
[And the well-being of my family].
Let me use this gift for good,
In service to others
And Your holy name.

Remember the poor and the homeless,
The needy and the unemployed,
So that they find dignity and fulfillment
In the works of their hands
And the works of their minds.
Rescue them from the shadow of fear.
Bless all who are jobless with a livelihood
So that they know health and happiness,
Security and peace.

Source of goodness and life,
Grant me success and prosperity in all my endeavors.
Grant me the ongoing joy of fruitful labor.

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

Postscript: See also the social justice prayers “Against Worker Exploitation” and “Against Poverty.”

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and 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: Career Rocketeer

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