Posts Tagged ‘וישלח’


Vayishlach 5775: Family Healing

Posted on: November 30th, 2014 by Alden

Family Tree HealingIn this week’s Torah portion, Jacob attempts to reconcile with his brother. This is a prayer for healing family wounds. Much as Jacob prepared to encounter Esau, this is a prayer for the spiritual willingness to heal. Choices to tailor the prayer to particular family situations are in [brackets]; use these choices or your own language. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Family Healing
G-d of Old,
Our family has been fractured,
Torn apart by _________________ [anger, violence, death, alcoholism, suicide, disease, mental illness, neglect, abuse, abandonment, finances],
Old wounds that have steeped into our bones and our blood,
Our thoughts and our words.
Release me from my anger and my guilt,
So I may see my kin with new eyes –
Their losses and fears,
Their pain and shame –
And therefore find a source of
Forgiveness and renewed love.

Well of Blessings,
Lead us to new vision and new wisdom,
The place where love rests safely in our hearts
And peace waits quietly in our hands.

G-d of Generations,
Grant healing to my family, speedily,
So that we may rejoice together in Your gifts,
With joy and thanksgiving.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s the prayer I posted for Vayishlach 5773, “The Descent,” a prayer about wrestling with angels. My prayer “For Family” includes a similar message to this prayer, but more softly stated. Here are prayers of family praise: “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Sisters,” “For Our Brothers” and “For the Family Historian.” This prayer first appeared on this site on November 8, 2012.

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Photo Source: Pinterest, Family Constellations

Vayishlach: The Descent

Posted on: November 28th, 2012 by tobendlight

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” – Genesis 32:25

Sooner or later every man faces the trial of his life. This meditation is a metaphor for the inner journey, the inner struggle, the battle to find holiness and a new name. It’s another in my series of prayers and meditations for men.

The Descent
When your time comes
And you hear the call
To become a man of power and wisdom,
A warrior and a king,
You will descend beyond the shadows
Into the black cliffs of your soul,
Where fear stalks the hours,
And rage laughs at the abyss,
Where shame waltzes with pride,
And grief howls, unrestrained, with pleasure.

You will reach a narrow ridge
Above the hollows where other men were lost.
You will crawl on scree,
Cutting your hands and knees,
As you press hard
Against the trail,
Against the wind.

You will enter a cavern of darkness,
The unseen color of nothingness,
Where your voice echoes with dread,
And your heart beats with longing,
Where your breath smells of remorse
And your ears ring with lies and deceit.

When you reach bottom
Your enemy will attack,
With skill and cunning,
For you have set free the torment within,
The power of your anguish and your guilt.
The night will last beyond the rhythm of natural time
Until you forget if you are the holiness or the profane.
Only then the grip of unrighteous fury will weaken
And succumb to your strength.
Wounded but victorious,
You will be blessed by fire from the torch of heaven.
Its light will blend with the coming dawn.
In that moment you will finally see
The face of the man you fought.
You will know in your bones
That you must take him back with you into the light,
For it was you who invited him on the journey.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are three more prayers and meditations for men: “My Work Remains,” “For the Lost” and “My Heart Knows What It Needs,” as well as a link to a list of all of my prayers for and about men.

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: Artable

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