Posts Tagged ‘cantor’


A Jewish Cleric’s Meditation for Self-Care

Posted on: July 2nd, 2020 by Alden

In what now seems like a premonition, Fall 2019 edition of The Reform Jewish Quarterly was dedicated to spiritual and mental wellness, including self-care in times of trauma. The Central Conference of American Rabbis asked me to contribute to the edition. As Jewish clergy and educators begin new jobs and reaffirm their current positions, here’s a prayer reminder that we — your congregants, your flock, your choir, your friends — need you to take care of yourselves, especially in these difficult times. A link to download the prayer from the Journal the follows the text.

A Jewish Cleric’s Meditation for Self-Care
God of our mothers and fathers,
My life is dedicated to the Jewish people,
According to Your will,
To expand Torah and mitzvot in the world,
Keeping watch over this generation,
In service to Your Holy Name.

Source and Shelter,
Grant me the wisdom to care for myself
As I strive to do Your work,
Accounting for my own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs,
Day by day,
Which I can so easily neglect
In my zeal to fulfill this sacred calling.

Renewed, refreshed, and revitalized,
May I come back to this holy work
With a greater sense of wholeness
And a richer sense of peace,
Aware of the gifts You have bestowed upon me,
And the limitations of my strength and endurance.

Let my eyes sparkle with blessings.
Let my voice resound with truth.
Let my life reflect Your everlasting love.
Let me be a vital and worthy servant of Your Word.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and

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Postscript: This prayer first appeared the Reform Jewish Quarterly, CCAR Journal Fall 2019.

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: Life Right Now


Posted on: November 8th, 2015 by Alden

ein-afek-cornerstoneThis prayer honors the pioneers and advocates for women in Jewish religious life and communal leadership. The idea came to me one Rosh Chodesh morning at the Kotel while singing Hallel in support of women’s rights at the Kotel. As we sang these words from Psalm 118 – “The stone the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone” – I thought: “Sisters, you are the stone that the builders rejected. And you’ve become the cornerstone of our future.” This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Build a house of glory to G-d,
Build a house of praise to our Maker:
A house of prayer,
A house of song,
A house of Torah,
A house of truth.

Sisters of Israel,
How wondrous that your voices resound in our tents,
That your insights echo in our streets,
That your prayers have become our song.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
The heart the builders rejected has become the fountainhead.
The service the builders rejected has become the foundation.
The wisdom the builders rejected has become the teaching.

G-d of our ancestors,
Bless the women who lead our people,
Rabbis and cantors, educators and activists,
Philanthropists and organizers, scholars and researchers,
Expanding our understanding and love of Torah.
Bless the work of their hands and the work of their hearts.
Rejoice and be glad.
Let the struggle continue
Until no one questions your birthright,
Until no one denies your place,
When the Kotel is redeemed
And the agunah is freed,
For your light will free us all.

All Your works praise You,
Adonai our G-d,
And the righteous bless Your Name.

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

Postscript: In Psalm 118, ‘the builders’ refer to two non-Jewish B.C.E. sources declaring that Israel has been destroyed. Here ‘the builders’ takes on a different meaning, referring to any Jewish authority or individual that oppresses women. Here’s a link to a related prayer called “Messengers among Us,” which asks if we’d recognize G-d’s messengers if they “…were women in talitot and t’fillin, winging freely, full voiced, Shema Yisroel…” See also “Jew against Jew,” a prayer to end sinat chinam written after experiencing hatred expressed toward women at the Kotel.

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: “Sisters of Israel, how wondrous that your Torah resounds…” Prayer for women rabbis and leaders by @ToBendLight.

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Photo Source: Gems in Israel

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