Posts Tagged ‘שבת’

 

Come, Beloved

Posted on: November 20th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on Shabbat, inspired by Lecha Dodi, Yedid Nefesh, and the Song of Songs. Join me in an exploration of Shabbat as the basis of writing new prayers, meditations, and songs during “Soul of Shabbat,” an online writing workshop on Ritualwell. Register here. Use the code ALDEN22 (case sensitive) for a $10 discount. “Come, Beloved” appears in my CCAR Press volume, This Grateful Heart.

Come, Beloved
If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat descend from her distant place,
Gently clearing the air
Of the steady buzz of the mundane,
Gently inviting you to stillness,
Gently preparing the space
For the arrival of holiness.

If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
The arrival of luminous wonder,
A radiance of glory that touches your heart,
So that love pulses through your veins.
The gates of your soul burst open,
You run through them, skipping, singing,
Maheir ahuv,
Hurry beloved…
How long since your hands touched mine,
How long since your lips brushed
These tired eyes,
How long since I rested in You.
Ki va mo-ed,
For the time has come,
The time has come to reunite.
And tears of surrender,
Shimmering with the taste of honey,
Will pour through you like grace
From G-d’s ancient well.
V’chaneini keemai olam.

If you listen,
Listen.
Listen…

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

Postscript: Here are links to more Shabbat prayers: “Shabbat as a Meditation,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.”

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.

Shabbat is the Place

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Mediterranean SunsetThis meditation is inspired by life in Jerusalem. Many of my Shabbat meditations have been inspired by my home, including: “Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem” and “Shabbat Sings.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Shabbat is the Place
Shabbat is the place
Where time and space meet,
Without questioning
How the beginning began
Or how the ending ends.

Shabbat is the place
Where song and silence meet,
Blessing each other
With the gift of rest.

Shabbat is the place
Where dreams and angels meet,
Yearning together
For a world of peace.

Shabbat is the place
Where holiness and eternity meet,
Praying together
For the world to come.

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

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories.

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: Water Jew Doing in Israel?

Farewell, Beloved: A Havdalah Meditation

Posted on: October 30th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Havdalah Brassy BrownThis meditation for Havdalah is patterned after my Shabbat meditation, “Come Beloved.” Together, the two prayers bookend Shabbat with parallel rhythms and language, borrowing images from Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah. This appears in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Farewell, Beloved: A Havdalah Meditation
If you listen,
Listen…
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat returning to her distant place,
Retreating slowly, quietly,
Gently opening the space
Between the chodesh and the chol,
Between the holy and the mundane,
Separating eternity from daily routine.

If you listen you will hear
The music of Shabbat rise,
Leaving behind the scent
Of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves,
A taste of sweet wine,
A braided beam of light from beyond time,
A memory and a promise.

…לַיְּהוּדִים הָיְתָה אוֹרָה וְשִׂמְחָה וְשָׂשׂוֹן וִיקָר

L’Yehudium hayta ora, v’simcha, v’sason, v’ikar…
We once had light and gladness,
Joy and honor…
May it return.

…בִּמְהֵרָה בְיָמֵינוּ, יָבֹא אֵלֵֽינוּ

Bim’hera v’yameinu, yavo eleinu…
Come speedily, in our time,
Bringing blessings of peace,
A world of wholeness,
When beauty and wonder,
Justice and mercy,
Kindness and love
Reign on earth.

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

Postscript: I began writing this meditation at the 2015 National Havurah Committee Summer Institute where I was the Liturgist-in-Residence. I finished it after my first Shabbat back in Israel. Here are a few of my other Shabbat prayers and meditations: “Shabbat Sings,” “Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem” and “For the Arrival of Shabbat.” Here’s a link to an annotated list of all of my Shabbat prayers and mediations.

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: Brassy Brown guest blogger Marian Moore

Shabbat Sings

Posted on: September 17th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

song-of-praise_3_10_367_227What if Shabbat could sing praises? Would we listen in awe? Would we sing a duet? This meditation is inspired by the Sabbath prayer La’el asher shavat. The line: “ויום השביעי משבח ואומר” (“The seventh day itself gives praise”). Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman calls that prayer “a midrashic treatment of Psalm 92, ‘A Song for the Sabbath Day,’ personifying Shabbat as an entity that itself praises G-d.” This prayer quotes a line from Psalm 92, “It is good to give thanks to G-d.”

Shabbat Sings
Shabbat sings to us as she approaches,
An ancient song of joy and desire,
A quiet song of hope and anticipation.
Yes, Shabbat sings as she arrives,
Her scarves dancing around her
In the gentle breeze.

Shabbat sings to us when she arrives,
A sweet song of love and reunion,
A simple song of laughter and surrender.
Yes, Shabbat sings with us,
Joyful, exuberant,
As we dance together in the glow of sunset.
It is good to give thanks to G-d.

Walk with me, Oh my queen!
Take my arm, Oh my bride!
And we will pretend
That you can linger in my arms always.
We will make believe
That we have been reunited forever.

Shabbat sings to us when she departs,
A tender song of longing,
A whispered voice of dreaming.
Yes, Shabbat sings as she leaves,
As we cling to her fragrant skirt,
As we breathe the last moments of holiness
Into our yearning hearts.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Shabbat Settles On Jerusalem.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories. The Hoffman quote is from My People’s Prayer Book, Volume 10, Shabbat Morning, Shachariet and Musaf.

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: Rabbi Elliott’s Blog

Blessing Myself for Shabbat

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 by Alden No Comments

1024px-Shabbat_ChallosThis is a new take on an old custom: blessing our children on Shabbat. In this prayer, we take a moment to bless ourselves, an act of self-kindness. This idea of expanding the custom is reflected in two other prayers: “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home” and “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner.”

Blessing Myself for Shabbat
G-d of Old,
Thank you for the week that has passed.
Thank you for this Shabbat.
Bless those around me with
Your love and Your light.
Let Your light shine on me, as well.
Help me to live a life of kindness and service
Guided by Torah and Mitzvot.
Let me see others through Your eyes,
With compassion and understanding.
Let me see myself through Your eyes,
With forgiveness and grace.
[Heal my body and spirit.]
May Your goodness rain down upon us
From this Shabbat until the next,
And all the days of our lives.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other Shabbat prayers and stories include: “Come Beloved,” “For the Arrival of Shabbat,” “About Shabbat,” “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.

Tweetable! Please help share this prayer with this suggested tweet, including the link:
Bless yourself this Shabbat! A new take on an old custom: https://tobendlight.com/?p=12727

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: WikiMedia Commons

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Jerusalem - City of GoldHere’s a short meditation on Shabbat in Jerusalem. I wrote this at a poetry workshop at Limmud UK. Here are links to more of my Shabbat prayers: “For the Arrival of Shabbat,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Come Beloved.” Each of them appear in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem
Shabbat settles on Jerusalem
Like a dove,
Gliding on silent wings.

Shabbat settles in my heart,
A lover with open arms,
Embracing my soul with song,
Wrapping me in quiet breathing.

And I send blessings into the world.
Light.
Bread.
Prayers of peace.

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

Postscript: Here are two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.

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: Jerusalem – City of Gold, Deborah Tepper Papercut Art

Come, Beloved

Posted on: December 3rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Come Beloved Deborah TepperA new meditation on the love of Shabbat, inspired by the theme of Lecha Dodi, the words of Yedid Nefesh and the imagery of the Song of Songs. I wrote it at OSRUI’s Shabbat Shira Weekend after Josh Nelson invited me to read an original piece during Kabbalat Shabbat. This appears in my new book from CCAR Press, This Grateful Heart. Thanks to papercut artist Deborah Tepper for allowing me to illustrate this prayer with “The Joy of Shabbat – Lecha Dodia.”

Come, Beloved
If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat descend from her distant place,
Gently clearing the air
Of the steady buzz of the mundane,
Gently inviting you to stillness,
Gently preparing the space
For the arrival of holiness.

If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
The arrival of luminous wonder,
A radiance of glory that touches your heart,
So that love pulses through your veins.
The gates of your soul burst open,
You run through them, skipping, singing,
Maheir ahuv,
Hurry beloved…
How long since your hands touched mine,
How long since your lips brushed
These tired eyes,
How long since I rested in You.
Ki va mo-ed,
For the time has come,
The time has come to reunite.
And tears of surrender,
Shimmering with the taste of honey,
Will pour through you like grace
From G-d’s ancient well.
V’chaneini keemai olam.

If you listen,
Listen.
Listen…

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

Postscript: Here are links to more Shabbat prayers: “Shabbat as a Meditation,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Weclome, Sabbath Queen.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.”

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: Deborah Tepper, papercut image used with permission

 

Vayishlach 5775: Family Healing

Posted on: November 30th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

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 tobendlight.com. 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.

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. Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: Pinterest, Family Constellations

Vayetze 5775: Messengers among Us

Posted on: November 27th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

WOW Kislev Carla at KotelIs it possible to recognize an angel, a messenger of G-d? How would I know? Angels appear at the beginning and the end of this week’s Torah portion, Vayetze, first in Jacob’s dream of a stairway from heaven to earth, then as Jacob and Laban part ways. This meditation asks if we are capable of seeing angels and greeting them with curiosity and wonder whether or not they conform to any expected vision. It includes a not-so-subtle question to those who assail the dedication and joy of women who take on the mitzvah of t’fillin: what if they are also messengers of G-d?

Messengers among Us
What if angels appeared at your door?
Would you recognize them?
Invite them in?
Feed them or wash their feet?
Would you listen to their wisdom
Or laugh at their words?

What if G-d’s messengers
Shaved their beards,
Took off their kippot,
Or wore the clothing of beggars?
Could you see them?
Can you see holiness in the unexpected?
What if angels appeared at your door?

What if G-d’s messengers
Were women in talitot and t’fillin
Singing freely, full voiced, Shema Yisroel,
Chanting the Torah of our people?
Could you hear them?
Can you hear holiness in joyous song?
What if angels appeared at your door?

G-d of ancient vision,
G-d of modern voice,
Open the eyes of our people
To see holiness and love in one another,
To receive the messengers among us
With joy and gratitude.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer reflects my support for women’s prayer at the Kotel. It’s a thank you for the inspiration to begin to explore my own commitment to the mitzvah of t’fillin, which I wrote about in the Times of Israel. The photo is from the Women of the Wall Facebook page. Here’s a link to my Vayetze 5773 selection, “A Moment of Love.” Here’s a related prayer called “Messengers,” which I posted for Vayeira 5773.

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

Photo Source: Women of the Wall Facebook Page/Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5775

Shabbat as a Meditation

Posted on: April 12th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Shabbat RecipiesThis meditation moves through the themes of Shabbat, reinforcing the rhythm of the day, the internal music of Shabbat. It takes us from candle lighting and welcoming the Sabbath Queen to yearning for the world to come and Havadallah. In doing so, it’s a reminder that Shabbat finds its radiance and glory in the essential mix of keva and kavanah, of our actions and our intentions.

Shabbat as a Meditation
This day of rest,
This day of wonder and awe,
Of holiness and light,
Is a chorus of the heart,
A sacred rhythm of meditations:
To invite holiness,
And welcome light.
To remember G-d’s gifts,
And welcome the Sabbath Queen.
To sanctify the home,
And honor each other.
To bless our children,
And remember creation.
To pray and sing in joy and thanksgiving,
And to remember the glory of Jerusalem.
To hear words of Torah,
And study with open hearts.
To share our bounty with others,
And rest under a canopy of peace.
To yearn for the world to come,
And to know the difference
Between holiness and the mundane.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: My Shabbat prayers include a “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home” and a Shabbat “Blessing for a Spouse / Partner.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat,” plus two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.” Sarah Rivka is one of my favorites.

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 Credit: Shabbat Recipes for the Jewish Home

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