Posts Tagged ‘child’

 

For Superman Sam and His Family

Posted on: November 15th, 2013 by Alden No Comments

leu ribbonSuperman Sam has relapsed. As his mom wrote: “His ninja leukemia is so very strong.” They’re nearing the end. At various times during the Sommer’s journey, various people, not knowing what to do but wanting to help, have asked me to write something for Sam or his family. It happened again today, after the crushing news. I’ve been reading the posts by Rabbis Phyllis and Michael Sommer about their family and their son, wondering at the depth of their pain and courage, yet hesitant to offer something that they may or may not find appropriate. Again this morning, I received an email from a friend asking me for a prayer. I wrote this today for Sam’s parents and decided to post it after an email exchange with a friend of the family. For those who wish to pray for Sam, his Hebrew name is Shmuel Asher Uzziel ben haRav Michael Aharon v’haRav Pesah Esther.

On the Journey to My Child’s Passing
Soul of the Universe,
When we dreamed of becoming parents
We never expected to face the death of our son,
Still a child,
Or to prepare him and our family for the end,
Or to face the day to come when we bury him.

Oh grief,
You know no bottom,
You spare no heart,
You leave us breathless and cold.

And yet, G-d of Ages, You offer
Holy choices,
To walk with our son,
In courage and fear,
In strength and heartbreak,
Toward a destination we cannot enter.

G-d of All Being,
The well of cures has run dry.
The horizon of life nears.
There is a single destination.
Bless our family with wisdom and strength,
Kindness and care,
Just as we ask You, Holy One,
To cover us with Your tabernacle of peace.

Author of Life,
Grant our son Sam
Joy and wonder in the days that remain.
And give him an easy passing.
Grant us the wisdom and ability
To be examples of steadfast love,
An inheritance for the generations.

Rock of Old, You are my comfort and my strength.
צור עולמים, אתה נחמתי וכחי
Tzur olamim, atah nechamati v’chochi.

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

Postscript: I cried writing this. A lot. In the coming weeks I’ll post a generalized version of this prayer for use by those who, sadly, find themselves with a similar need. In writing it, I’ve borrowed from two other prayers: “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child,” which I wrote after the shootings in Sandy Hook, and “On Removing a Child’s Life Support,” which I wrote at the request of a hospital chaplain. Both prayers will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: Bunny Tales, A Shabby Rabbit Book Blog

For Physicians

Posted on: June 23rd, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Serious doctor with touchpad.This is a prayer of thanks for physicians. It’s from a set of prayers honoring clinicians and medical science.  I’ve already posted a prayer “For Nurses” and a variety of prayers regarding organ donation, including “For Organ Donation” and “For Organ and Tissue Donation.” Future posts will include a prayer “For Medical Science.” This prayer appears in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

For Physicians
G-d of Old,
We are flesh and blood,
Imbued with Your divine spark,
Strong, but vulnerable.
You have blessed us with men and women
Who dedicate their lives to health and healing,
Preventing disease, reducing pain,
Prolonging lives, providing hope.

G-d of life,
Watch over our physicians –
And all who work in the healing professions –
As they serve us during times of health and
In the times of our deepest needs.
Bless their hands with kindness,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hearts with sincerity
And their souls with love,
So that they become
A fountain of healing.
Bless them with fortitude and strength.

Rock of Ages,
Bring an end to pain and suffering,
So that all may know
Your compassion and Your grace.

Bless doctors throughout the world
With Your warmth and shelter,
Even as we bless them
With our eternal gratitude and love.

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

Postscript: My other prayers for healing include: “For Surgery,” “On Waiting for An Organ Transplant,” “Upon Recovery from Surgery,” “For Healing the Spirit” and “For a Critically Ill Child.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Source: UofL Physicians

For Nurses

Posted on: June 9th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Stock PhotoThis is a prayer of thanks for nurses. My family has been blessed by many. The prayer is from a set honoring clinicians and medical science, including several focused on organ donation, including “For Organ Donation” and “For Organ and Tissue Donation.” Future posts will include a prayer “For Physicians” and one “For Medical Science.” This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

For Nurses
To those who dedicate their lives to compassion,
To those who dedicate their lives to care,
To those who hold our hearts and spirits dear:
Your work is a blessing,
Your days are a gift,
Your hours are a labor of holiness,
Your moments are a well of comfort.

G-d of life,
Watch over our nurses –
And all who work in the healing professions –
As they serve us in the times of our deepest needs.
Bless their hands with kindness,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hearts with sincerity
And their souls with love,
So that they become
A fountain of healing.
Bless them with fortitude and strength.
Grant them satisfaction and success at work,
And with joy and rest,
Security and peace in their lives.

Rock of Ages,
Bring an end to pain and suffering,
So that all may know
Your compassion and Your grace.

Bless all who serve in the nursing professions
With Your warmth and shelter,
Even as we bless them
With our eternal gratitude and love.

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

Postscript: My other prayers for healing include: “For Surgery,” “On Waiting for An Organ Transplant,” “Upon Recovery from Surgery,” “For Healing the Spirit” and “For a Critically Ill Child.”

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: Ginny Beeson & Associates

Mother’s Meditation

Posted on: January 27th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

MotherThis prayer is to be said by mothers with children who have begun their independent lives. It’s the companion piece to “Father’s Meditation.” The two prayers follow the same overall structure and rhythm.

This prayer, along with “Father’s Meditation,” will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Mother’s Meditation
Gracious and Compassionate One,
Father of the Universe,
Mother of Life,
Fountain and Well,
Hear this prayer:

My children are Yours,
To guide and protect with Your open hand,
To nurture and care with Your wisdom,
To hold and heal with Your loving ways.
Grant them vitality and fortitude
As they build lives of their own.
Fill their days with friendship and hope,
Joy and kindness,
Thanksgiving and peace.
Shield them from pain and strife.
Grant them years of prosperity and serenity,
Gratitude and faith,
Awe and wonder.
May they enjoy the fruits of Your creation
In service to Torah and our People Israel.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
G-d of our ancestors,
G-d of generations.

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

Postscript: Here’s a parent’s prayer for when for when “My Child Leaves Home.” Click here for more prayers about family.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Body+Soul

Father’s Meditation, Revised

Posted on: January 20th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

father-and-sonThis prayer is to be said by fathers with children who have begun their independent lives. It’s a revision to a prayer of the same name. Today I wrote the companion piece, called “Mother’s Meditation.” The two prayers follow the same overall structure and rhythm. As I wrote the new meditation, it seemed clear that some of the new phraseology in “Mother’s Meditation” belonged in this prayer and that some of the phraseology in the original version of this piece belonged in the other prayer. Both prayers appear in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Father’s Meditation
Gracious and Compassionate One,
Mother of the Universe,
Father of Life,
Source and Shelter,
Hear this prayer:

My children are Yours,
To guide and protect with Your strong hand,
To nurture and care with Your outstretched arm,
To hold and heal with Your righteous ways.
Grant them vitality and fortitude
As they build lives of their own.
Fill their days with meaning and purpose,
Joy and adventure,
Thanksgiving and peace.
Ease their burdens and relieve their struggles.
Grant them years of prosperity and serenity,
Wisdom and courage,
Gratitude and wonder.
May they enjoy the fruits of Your creation
In service to Torah and our People Israel.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
G-d of our ancestors,
G-d of generations.

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

Postscript: Here’s a parent’s prayer for when for when “My Child Leaves Home.” Click here for more prayers about family.

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: fcaministers.com

For a Child’s Surgery

Posted on: January 8th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

mishkan_rgcofuah_coverxThis revision of “For My Child’s Surgery” appears in the new book, Mishkan R’fuah: Where Healing Resides published by the CCAR Press. I am grateful to the editors who made some important suggestions regarding the emotional content and theological implications of this prayer while remaining profoundly respectful of my work. Gender choices are identified with a “/” slash. It appears as “Before My Child’s Surgery” in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

For a Child’s Surgery
G-d of health and healing,
I surrender my daughter /son to the physician’s hand,
The surgeon’s skill,
The nurse’s care,
Placing her / his body into the cradle of others,
Just as I pray for you to hold her / his soul with Your loving hands.

Bless her / his surgeon with a steady hand,
Keen vision and a passion for healing.
Bless her / his caregivers with focus and compassion,
With wisdom and dedication.
Bless our family with comfort and kindness,
Energy and endurance, tranquility and strength.

Source of life,
Bring Your healing power to _______________ (child’s name).
Remove her / his pain,
Relieve her / his distress,
And restore her / his body, mind and spirit,
Renewing her/him to wholeness and peace.
Bless her / him with vigor, courage and hope
So that she / he may enjoy   life and health,
Joy and love.
And grant her / him a full and speedy recovery.

Blessed are You, G-d of mystery,
Source health and healing.

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

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Postscript: “After My Child’s Surgery” also appears in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. Here’s a related prayer “For a Critically Ill 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 Credit: CCAR Press

Pinchas haLevi

Posted on: December 23rd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

This 111-word story tells of a man whose siddur is always near, but it’s really about passing the gift of prayer from one generation to the next. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

Pinchas haLevi

Pinchas haLevi carries his siddur in his coat, in a special pocket near his heart. He sewed the pocket himself, double stitching the fabric so it would never tear, never risk spilling its sacred cargo. He checks the pocket each week, before Shabbat, to make sure the stitches are still tight.  He knows the prayers by heart, every blessing, every song, every word. But Pinchas haLevi’s siddur is always with him. It was his father’s and his grandfather’s and his great-grandfather’s before that. And one day, if G-d wills it, the siddur will ride in a special pocket of a special coat near the heart of a child yet to come.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to all stories posted here.

If you like this story, post a link to your Facebook page, to your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks. For reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

For My Child’s Surgery

Posted on: August 16th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

This prayer is for parents to say before a child’s surgery. Gender choices are identified with a “/” slash. Here’s a related prayer “For a Critically Ill Child.” This will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For My Child’s Surgery
G-d of health and healing,
I surrender my daughter /son to the physician’s hand,
The surgeon’s knife,
The nurse’s care,
Placing her / his body in the cradle of others,
Just as I pray for you to hold her / his soul with Your loving hands.

Bless her / his surgeon with a steady hand,
Keen vision and a passion for healing.
Bless her / his caregivers with wisdom and skill,
With compassion, focus and dedication.
Bless our family with ease and comfort,
Energy and endurance, tranquility and peace.

Source of life,
Bring Your healing power to my daughter / son
_______________ (child’s name in Hebrew or your native tongue).
Remove her / his pain,
Relieve her / his distress,
And cure her / his body, mind and spirit.
Bless her / him with strength, courage and hope
So that she / he may know life and health,
Joy and love.
And grant her / him a full and speedy recovery.

Blessed are You, G-d of mystery,
Source of health and healing.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer is adapted from “For Surgery.” Other prayers for healing include: “Upon Recover from Surgery,” “For a Critically Ill Mother,” “For a Critically Ill Child,” “For a Critically Ill Father” and “For Healing the Spirit.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

Father’s Meditation

Posted on: July 20th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Here’s another prayer written with my own children in mind.

Father’s Meditation
Gracious and Compassionate One,
Mother of the Universe,
Father of Life,
Source and Shelter,
Hear this prayer:

My children are Yours,
To guide and protect with Your strong hand,
To nurture and care with Your outstretched arm,
To hold and heal with Your loving ways.
Grant them vitality and fortitude
As they build lives of their own.
Fill their days with friendship and hope,
Joy and adventure,
Thanksgiving and peace.
Ease their burdens and relieve their struggles.
Grant them years of prosperity and serenity,
Wisdom and courage,
Gratitude and wonder.
May they enjoy the fruits of Your creation
In service to Torah and our People Israel.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
G-d of our ancestors,
G-d of generations.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Another prayer that I wrote for my daughters is called “For Bereaved Children.” And here’s a parent’s prayer for when “My Child Leaves Home.”

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Obediah: A Short Story

Posted on: June 4th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

This story celebrates the love Torah and the great joy of passing that love from generation to generation. It’s great for Shavuot  and Simchat Torah. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

Obediah
One morning, after his father went to t’fillah, Obediah the sofer’s son snuck into Papa’s workshop to write his own Torah. The workshop was so tidy, the surface of Papa’s desk clean and ready. Obediah took a sheet of parchment from a large wooden drawer. He took a jar of ink and a quill off the shelf and climbed into Papa’s chair so he could reach the top of the desk. He poured some ink into a small glass just like his father. And as he dipped the quill into the ink a shiver of joy went through him. Obediah would write his own Torah! The Torah of his father and his father and his father, who received it from the rabbis, who received it from the prophets, who received it from the judges, who received it from Joshua, who received it from Moses himself, who stood in G-d’s Holy Presence at Mount Sinai. And for a moment Obediah was there, he was there at Sinai with Moshe and Aaron and Miriam. Obediah saw the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud. He heard the blast of G-d’s shofar and the deafening silence that followed. He watched as G-d held the holy mountain over the people’s heads. And Obediah the sofer’s son said to no one in particular, “Na’aseh v’neeshma. I will do, and I will listen.”

So Obediah began to write. Bresheit. In the beginning. Barah. Created. Elohim. G-d. “Yes!” Obediah thought. What could be more true and perfect and full of love then G-d in the beginning creating us in order of give us the Torah? In order to give me the Torah?

Just then, Papa walked into the study. Obediah looked up at Papa and looked back at his work. Drips of ink on the desk. Smudges on the back of the parchment. And three beautiful words of Torah.

“Papa, I’m writing a Torah.”

Papa picked him up and scolded him and told Obediah never to do this again and that Obediah did a beautiful job and never to do this again and how proud Papa was of Obediah and never to do this again. Papa put Obediah back in the chair, a tear of joy in his eye. “We’ll clean this up together,” Papa said out loud. But in his heart Papa said, “Shecheyanu v’kiy’manu v’higyanu lazman hazeh.”

And G-d looked down at Obediah and Papa and all the work which in creating G-d had made. And G-d said, “Tov Me-od.” It is very good.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Click here for a list of all of my short stories. Click here for a list of Shavuot prayers and stories.

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