Posts Tagged ‘faith in G-d’

 

Va’etchanan: Affirmation of Faith

Posted on: July 29th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Shema Shirt

This week’s Torah portion, Va’etchanan, includes both the 10 Commandments and the bold declaration of our belief in G-d, the sine qua non of Jewish affirmations, the Shema. [Deuteronomy 6:4] This prayer weaves two paragraphs about the love of God – and dedication to mitzvot – into the words of the Shema. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Affirmation of Faith

Hear O Israel,

The covenant we made
Together on Sinai
Is a pledge for all time,
A vow for the ages,
To do and to listen
To teach and to learn
With the fullness of our hearts
From the depths of our souls
And the strength of our being
Binding ourselves to

Adonai Our G-d

With Torah and Mitzvot,
Binding our lives to each other
With righteousness and charity,
So that blessings will rain down from heaven
To feed our hearts and fill our land
With G-d’s abundant gifts,
The brilliance and wonder
That flow from service to G-d’s Holy Word,
In remembrance of creation
And our liberation from slavery,
Declaring throughout the generations:

G-d is One,

G-d is One,
G-d is One.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃‎

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

Postscript: This prayer was originally written for a conversion reaffirmation ceremony, which is discussed in the original post of December 10, 2013. Here’s a link to a meditation called “Doubt,” representing a radically different approach to finding faith.

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: Hebrew TShirts

Balak: Your Dwelling Place

Posted on: June 28th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Ma Tovu is one of my favorite prayers. The opening line comes from this week’s Torah portion, Balak. Balak hires Bil’am to curse the people Israel, but instead he blesses them. The blessing includes this line, which opens Ma Tovu: “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwellings, O Israel!” [Numbers 24:5] According to rabbinic interpretation, the ‘tents’ are ‘tents of Torah’ and the ‘dwellings’ are synagogues. This prayer turns the metaphor once again, stating that our lives can be the dwelling place of G-d’s glory when we do the work of love and charity. Two lines from Ma Tovu, traditionally said upon entering a synagogue, frame the second stanza.

Your Dwelling Place
When I pray,
When I quiet my mind and open my heart,
I become a priest/priestess
In the house of God.

G-d,
I love Your house,
Your habitation,
The dwelling place of Your glory.
Let me serve You with my hands,
With the toil of healing the world,
With the labor of kindness and compassion.
And I will become Your abode
Of love and charity,
Of thanksgiving and peace,
Doing Your will in joy,
Rejoicing in Your work.
How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,
Thy dwellings, O Israel!

Let my life become a temple,
A sanctuary of praise and service,
And You will dwell
In me.

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

Postscript: Some of my other prayers that borrow quotes directly from the liturgy include: “Come, Beloved,” “Sephardi Quarter Note,” “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion” and “Affirmation of Faith.”

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.

Let G-d

Posted on: May 21st, 2015 by Alden No Comments

sunset-birds-over-seaThis simple prayer is a reminder to invite G-d into our lives and to move in the direction of holiness. My other pieces using birds and flight as a metaphor include: “Soarbird,” “Bird is Bird” and “First Bird.”

Let G-d
Let G-d
Hold majesty before your eyes,
And mystery before your heart.

Let G-d
Place strength in your hands
And radiance in your soul.

Let G-d
Lead you to awe and wonder
And redeem you from fear and shame.

You are cloud and horizon,
A bird in solo flight,
Seeking your flock,
Seeking your journey,
Seeking your place.

Let G-d
Put healing in your hours
And rejoicing in all of your days.

Let G-d
Find you in the open sky
And lift you in joy and grace.

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

Postscript: You might also like “Fresh Delights” and “Unseen Lands.”

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: Island Real Estate

Affirmation of Faith

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Shema ShirtThis is an affirmation of faith built around the sine qua non of Jewish affirmations: the Shema. It can be used many ways, such as a conversion ceremony or as a meditation before a bar or bat mitzvah. I’ve also included it in my liturgy for Yom HaShoah. This piece appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Affirmation of Faith

Hear O Israel,

The covenant we made
Together on Sinai
Is a pledge for all time,
A vow for the ages,
To do and to listen
To teach and to learn
With the fullness of our hearts
From the depths of our souls
And the strength of our being
Binding ourselves to

Adonai Our G-d

With Torah and Mitzvot,
Binding our lives to each other
With righteousness and charity,
So that blessings will rain down from heaven
To feed our hearts and fill our land
With G-d’s abundant gifts,
The brilliance and wonder
That flow from service to G-d’s Holy Word,
In remembrance of creation
And our liberation from slavery,
Declaring throughout the generations:

G-d is One,

G-d is One,
G-d is One.

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃‎

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

Postscript: Here’s a link to a meditation called “Doubt,” representing a radically different approach to finding faith. I wrote this prayer after my friend Roberta asked if I had a prayer she might use as part of reaffirming her conversion after 30 years. I was taught that conversion is the result of the soul’s recognition of itself as having been present on Sinai during revelation. So conversion is the process of education and action to manifest a pre-existing truth. So why would a prayer of affirmation make reference to the conversion itself? Shouldn’t it be a prayer that any Jew can use, in joy or in grief, whether to affirm faith 30 years post-conversion or 30 seconds after a tragedy?

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: Hebrew TShirts

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