Archive for the ‘Healing’ Category

 

Insomnia

Posted on: May 31st, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A prayer to be said by those suffering from insomnia. May you find the rest you need.

Insomnia
Oh, to sleep,
To rest,
To find relief
From fitful nights and half-awake days.
To slumber.
To feel refreshed.

G-d of mercy,
I need your comfort and shelter.
Grant me respite and repose,
A night of quiet and tranquility
That leads to another,
And another,
So that I may do Your will,
In the fullness of my abilities,
With wisdom and strength.

.ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם הנותן ליעף כח
Blessed are you Adonai our G-d, king of the world, who gives to strength to the weary.
Baruch atah Adonai, Ehloheinu melech ha’olam, ha’notayn layaef koach.

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

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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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You without Peace

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Here’s a meditation for those who yearn to find G-d’s blessings, but cannot let them in. I’m reminded of a comment at Limmud Vancouver 2018: “We fear that we won’t find G-d. But what we fear, even more, is that we will.”

You without Peace
Oh you without peace,
Who yearn for G-d’s blessings
But push them away,
Feeling their presence
And blocking their arrival,
Hoping for grace
Without gracing the hope
Of holy communion,
Of blessings and wonder,
Know this:

Your heart is beautiful.
Your love is pure.
Your longing sings with truth.
Your journey is righteous,
Your path is lonely,
And G-d yearns for you
To keep searching
For the holiness and light
That surround us all.

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

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: NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Collection

For California: The Land is Burning

Posted on: October 15th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

A prayer to end the California wildfires, for safety, for the victims, for healing and for renewal. Also, here’s a prayer to say “For Firefighters.”

The Land is Burning
G-d of mercy,
The land is burning,
Fires raging,
Devastation set loose upon the earth,
Upon the innocent and the righteous,
Your children,
Creation itself.

Source and Shelter,
Hold back the winds,
Bring forth the rains,
Even as the courageous battle the blazes,
Rescuing the frightened and trapped,
Even as victims flee and neighbors come to each other’s aid,
Even as we mourn the dead
And search for the missing.

G-d of compassion,
Bless the people of California with succor and relief.
Bless firefighters and police with endurance and strength.
Bless public safety, rescue and mental health professionals with stamina and resolve.
Bless the victims with resilience and renewal.
Let the inferno end
And healing begin.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also a prayer “For Firefighters.”

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: MySafeLA

These Troubled Children

Posted on: October 1st, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Here’s a prayer for our children, youths and teens who express their pain through various forms of self-violence. Here are several related prayers: “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” “My Depression,” “Cutting, A Prayer to End Self-Mutilation” and “Mental Illness.”

These Troubled Children
Who will take these troubled children
By the hand and lead them
Back to joy and comfort?

You, who cut your own flesh,
There is no blade sharper
Than your own grief.

You, who drink to disappear,
There is no poison more deadly
Than your own doubts.

You, who drug your minds,
There is no potion more deadly
Than your own despair.

Beautiful child,
You are not yet lost.
You are not yet gone forever.
Come home.

Source and Shelter,
Lead these troubled children
To the arms of hope and help.
A loving parent.
A caring friend.
A big brother. A big sister.
An AA meeting.
A suicide prevention line.
A foster family.
A pastor, a priest, a rabbi, an imam.
A counselor.
A professional with resources
And an open heart.

Healer and Guide,
Bring these troubled children
Back to wholeness and peace.
Let love fall like warm rain
Into their hearts.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also: “My Child’s Self-Inflicted Wounds,” “My Depression,” “Cutting, A Prayer to End Self-Mutilation” and “Mental Illness.”

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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Before Morning

Posted on: August 27th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

In the dark and quiet night, a deep yearning sigh for a day of gentle kindness, blessings and peace. Half-awake, a yearning that arrives before morning…

Before Morning
Before morning breaks,
Before the birds begin to sing,
As dawn approaches from beyond the horizon,
And the deep quiet night prepares to depart,
Let the angels secretly bless me.
Let their song echo in my yearning soul.

Before morning breaks,
Before the traffic builds,
As light approaches from the waking day,
And responsibilities prepare to arrive,
Let the love of life surround me,
And joy flow from my grateful heart.

G-d who created light,
Holy One who renews creation,
Bless the coming day with Your majesty and love.
Bless the hours with Your kindness and grace.
Bless the moments with hope and healing.
Let our songs of praise rise before You,
And let peace descend from the highest heavens
To cover the earth.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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: National Park Service

Hiding My Face

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This meditation is inspired by the hope and joy found in the Ashrei. It’s a beloved prayer based on Psalm 145, other verses of Psalms added at its beginning and end. The Talmud says that “anyone who recites A Psalm of David [Psalm 145] three times every day is assured of a place in the world to come” (Brachot 4b). That’s why it occurs twice in the traditional Shachriet service and once in Mincha. This meditation envisions the Ashrei as the antidote for one who has entered a spiritual malaise.

Hiding My Face
What does it mean
When I hide my face from You?
When I withhold my prayers?
My voice? My song?

Your Glory is like the sun,
Warming my skin and the land.
I am afraid that You will
Take all of me,
Leaving me parched and burned,
Unable to recognize myself.

You who stand thirsty at G-d’s well,
You cannot run from your sacred calling,
You cannot run from G-d’s voice.
Perhaps ignore it,
Perhaps postpone it,
Until the weight of your destiny
Swallows you whole
And there is nowhere left to hide.

אשׁרי יוֹשבי ביתך
Ashrei yoshvei veitecha
Happy are those who dwell in Your house.
Happy are those who sing Your praise.
Happy are those who do Your works.
Happy are those who answer Your call.

Open my hands,
Open my heart,
Draw me close to You.
Guard me. Guide me. Save me.

תהלת יהוה ידבר-פי,
Tehilat Adonai yedahber pi,
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Adonai,
ויברך כל-בשׂר שם קדשׁו לעולם ועד
Vi’vareich kol basar sheim kodsho l’olam va’ed.
And let all flesh bless G-d’s holy name for ever and ever.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: In My People’s Prayer Book, Vol. 3, P’sukei D’Zimrah, find an amazing article on the rhetorical structure of the Ashrei by Rabbi Reuven Kimelman.

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: Alden Solovy

Remember My Heart

Posted on: April 29th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This Yom HaZikaron offering imagines a prayer that might be said by the soldiers and terror victims who’ve lost their lives for the State of Israel. It’s meant to honor that raw spot of grief that exists in all of us, but that some live with daily as a result of simply living in Israel and serving this nation. The core metaphor is a ubiquitous image throughout Israel, the flower that survives by growing up through the cracks in stone, sometimes hewn stones placed by our ancestors, sometimes the very stone of the earth.

Remember My Heart
When you see a flower bloom
Between the cracks in stone,
Remember me.
Remember my heart and my hands.
The hands of sons and daughters,
Of dreamers and doers,
Soldiers by necessity,
Civilians targeted for terror,
Old hands, young hands, children’s hands,
Hands that yearned for life.

When you see a flower bloom
Between the cracks in stone,
Remember that we have shed both tears and blood
In our yearning for this land and this people.
Remember what cannot be stolen,
Our love, our hope,
Our history, our home.

Oh, to still be with you in this sacred land,
In this beauty and wonder,
In this place of my soul.

When you see a flower bloom
Between the cracks in stone,
Remember me.
Remember that beauty survives,
That our love is strong,
That our sacrifices are holy,
That our cause is just,
That our people will endure.

Blessed are you, my people,
Who remember those of us who’ve given our lives
To build, defend and live in this land.
May the Holy One
Shelter your heart in the wings of comfort
And bring peace, at last,
Peace at last.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: The last lines are intentionally vague implying both peace of mind for mourners and relatives of the deceased, as well as peace for the land of Israel. Here are three other prayer that are important for Yom HaZikaron: “Yizkor for a Lone Soldier,” “The Soldiers on this Mountain,” “To the Terrorist,” “For those Who Die Young” and “Memorial for a Child.”

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 by Alden Solovy

Sorrow at a Time of Joy

Posted on: February 18th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This meditation is for moments in which an unexpected grief arrives in a moment of joy. A family death before a bar mitzvah. A sudden illness before a wedding. This appears in my new book, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

Sorrow at a Time of Joy
Sorrow comes,
Unbidden,
Amidst the routines of our days
And the joys of this life.

How much loss can one endure?
How much sorrow can one face?
Grief has arrived,
Casting a pall over the joys that remain.
Even as we celebrate,
We’re overcome with distress.
Tragedy has struck.

G-d of comfort,
Help us through this difficult time.
Help us to be present for one another
And to find moments of calm and quiet,
Perhaps finding moments of joyous memory and laughter,
As we struggle together.

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

Postscript: See “Seasons of Sorrow,” which also appears in This Grateful Heart.

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: Nature’s Workshop

Living with Medical Uncertainty

Posted on: January 29th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Last week I posted a “Cancer Anniversary” prayer. I received many responses. Several readers, each facing metastatic disease, wrote asking for a different prayer, one for living with medical uncertainty. I wrote this two years ago after speaking with a young man rocked by the discovery of a rare medical condition, shaken by the contrast between how healthy he felt and the extent of disease going on in the secret workings of his body.

Living with Medical Uncertainty
This life is a gift.
Our moments, a blessing.
The hours, a sacred trust.
Our days, a flicker in the lamp of time.

G-d of Old,
You call on me to face my fleeting presence.
By confronting my ___________ [condition, such as: cancer, stroke…],
You have brought me this challenge:
To see my mortality,
To comprehend, more deeply,
The fragility of my body and the dangers within.
Truly, my life is like a driven leaf,
A passing cloud,
Grass that withers,
A flower that fades.

Knower of All,
I wonder:
What is my body doing in secret?
Has my treatment been effective?
For how long?
Has this threat passed?
Will I face it again?
Am I cured? Am I safe?
Can I ever know?

Bless all who have walked with me on this path.
Grant them health and long life.
Bless all who face these questions.
Grant them comfort and peace.

As for me,
Holy One,
When I am weary, give me rest.
When I am lost, give me refuge.
When I am yearning, give me words of prayer.

Rock of Life,
G-d of All Being,
Source of Mystery,
Stronghold and Shelter,
Guide me on this journey.
Grant me solace and consolation.
Give me strength.

.ברוך אתה ה’ אלהינו מלך העולם הנותן ליעף כח
Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam hanotein laya’ef ko’ach.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who gives strength to the weary.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also: “For Cancer Treatment” and “On the Recurrence of Cancer,” as well as two related Hospice Prayers. See also: “For Surgery,” “Upon Recovery from Surgery,” and “For Healing the Spirit” and “R’fuat HaNefesh.” Many of these prayers appear in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: Emory

Cancer Anniversary

Posted on: January 26th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

imageThis prayer is for all who are marking an anniversary of being cancer free. Having fought the battle – the one you’ve won that others lost – gratitude may be matched with an overt or underlying sense of anxiety. This is written to allow you to bring your emotions into the text, with space for those emotions to be different from one year to the next. This prayer appears in “Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.”

Cancer Anniversary
G-d of health and healing,
As I approach the [first, second…]
Anniversary of successful cancer treatment,
[My anxiety and (add your other emotions: fear, anger, grief) have returned.]
[I also have a wondrous and surprising sense of optimism and hope.]

I remember clearly the shock and trauma of my diagnosis.
The concern of family and friends.
The fear.
The sleepless nights.
The sadness and tears.
The moments of hope.
The moments when hope seemed lost.
I remember those who have succumbed to this disease.
And I am aware of the fragility of life.

Thank you, G-d on high,
For the past [year/years] of health,
Years with my cancer in remission.
Thank you for the gifts and blessings in my life,
The diligence of my physicians,
The support of those around me,
And the hope of tomorrow.
May vigor and vitality accompany me always.

Blessed are You,
G-d of our fathers and mothers,
G-d of gifts and blessings,
Source of life.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My other cancer prayers include: “Cancer Fear,” “For Cancer Treatment” and “Cancer Remission.”

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

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“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

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"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

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