Posts Tagged ‘family’

 

Unfinished Business

Posted on: January 26th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

This is a meditation on the unfinished business in my life. Loving more deeply. Being more present. Showing more gratitude. Living the life that G-d wants for me. A life of courage, joy and faith. There are places I’ve yet to see. There are songs and poems and prayers that I’ve yet to write. This is the unfinished business of my life.

Unfinished Business
There is so much unfinished business in my life.
So much I have left undone.
Have I shown you my heart,
The well of love and sorrow,
Of fear and joy,
That I keep deep within?
Have I given you my hands,
The source of power and support,
Of gentleness and compassion,
As a gift of devotion?
Have I held you with my eyes,
The river of blessings
That flow as grace
From my core to yours?

There is so much unfinished business in my life,
To attend with joy and dancing,
Sending love from my soul to yours,
Now and forever.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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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.

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On Handing Down a Jewish Heirloom

Posted on: March 18th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This is an expansion of my prayer “On Handing Down an Heirloom Tallit at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.” The idea for that prayer came from a member of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, whom I met while serving as their 5776 Yom Kippur Scholar. I have three heirloom tallitot to pass along. That got me thinking about the other heirloom Judaica I hold. Blank lines are for personalizing the prayer; other instructions are in [brackets]; word choices are identified with a slash (“/”). Both prayers appear in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

On Handing Down a Jewish Heirloom
Dear __________,
At this moment/time/season of your __________ (event),
I/We bequeath this __________ (item)
To you as a symbol of my/our love for you
And in the hope that it will keep you connected to our history and our heritage.
This __________ (item) was _________ [background of the heirloom].

May this moment be the beginning of a miraculous journey.
May this __________ (item) become a cherished symbol of your Jewish life,
A reminder of our family’s devotion to you,
A reminder of this special day/season.
May it be God’s will that one day
You pass it to the next generation, in love.

G-d of our fathers and mother,
Bless my/our _______ [identify the relationship, such as daughter, grandson, niece]
With health and prosperity
Wisdom and happiness,
A life of blessings and peace.
How splendid is this moment!
How amazing in beauty, hope and joy!
My heart is full.

.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יי אלהינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה
Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’imanu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Our praise to You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

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

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Postscript: Related prayers include: “Meditation on a Child’s First Torah Reading,” “Bind and Wrap,” “Light of G-d” and “Gathering, A Dream of Reunion.”

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: Skinner: Auctioneers and Appraisers

For Creating a Home

Posted on: February 1st, 2018 by Alden No Comments

This is a prayer about the spiritual aspects of creating a home. It can be used from the moment one conceives of the idea of creating a new home until the feeling arrives that the home space is complete. It can also be used as a meditation before affixing a mezuzah to the front door — or any door — of the home.

For Creating a Home
G-d of our mothers and fathers,
Look with kindness on me/us as I/we
Create a new home,
An expression of love.
Let me/us build a place of laughter and delight,
Where Torah guides me/us
And acts of righteousness and charity begin.
Let this be a refuge and a shelter,
An oasis of joy and celebration,
Where friends and family
Are drawn together by a deep sense of welcome,
And a haven of generations
Where we gather to honor each other.

Bless this home,
And all who enter,
With love, contentment and peace.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: Here’s a prayer to be said “Before Moving” and a prayer for “Quiet.”

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.

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Death of a Horrible Relative

Posted on: February 12th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

imageWhen family members die, we strive to remember the best moments of their lives. We must also recognize the complexity of mourning when a person has suffered trauma at hand of a newly-departed relative. Although a response to death, this is a personal prayer of healing. It is intended for private use. Optional verses appear in [brackets]. Alternative word choices are separated with a slash (“/”).

Death of a Horrible Relative
Dad/Mom/_________ (other relative, name or relationship),
So many moments of pain,
So many chances for healing that you abandoned,
So much suffering that you caused,
And now, you are dead.
What is it that I/we mourn?
The dad/mom/_________ (other relative) we never had?
The loss of so much time and energy
To the misery you caused?
The hope that one day you would become
A person of integrity and valor,
Kindness and love?

As in life,
Your death brings mixed emotions,
Different for each of us in our family as we grapple to understand,
As we grapple to find comfort and peace.

G-d of Old,
[Where were You when our family needed healing?]
[Where were You in the pain the sorrow?]
Help me to let go of the false hopes and empty promises
That never came to be.
Teach me to accept my past as it was
So I can embrace a richer tomorrow.
Teach me to release my anger and pain
So that I may lead a life of awe and wonder,
Full of joy and laughter.
Help me to move on.
[Help me to forgive. So that one day I can say:]
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
[At long last,]
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also “Grieving the Living.” Here’s a link to all of my Yizkor and memorial prayers.

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: Alden Solovy

Shemot 5775: In Praise of Adoption

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Cousin Kid Group HugExodus begins with extraordinary examples of care for children: midwives Shiphrah and Puah refuse Pharoah’s order to kill newborn males; then, Moses is adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and nursed by his birth-mother. This week’s Torah prayer praises adoption. It’s the second in a new series on adoption that will appear in my forthcoming book Prayers for Healing the World. Optional language is shown in [brackets] and word choices are identified with a slash (/). Here’s my prayer “To Adopt a Child.”

In Praise of Adoption
G-d of Mercy,
Source of love and shelter,
Bless those who have taken children as their own,
Into their lives, into their homes,
With compassion and care,
Healing the world one small soul at a time.
Bless their lives with wisdom and strength,
Kindness and care,
So their children will be nurtured,
Protected and educated,
With joy and wonder.
Bless these families with health and safety,
Happiness and well-being.

Source of Life,
Bless those who hope to adopt,
Those who have waited
With anticipation [and with disappointment]
As the adoption process moves slowly, step-by-step.
Let the loving hand of adoption bring their lives
The richness of [family/a growing family],
The joys and challenges of parenting.
Bless, too, those who work and advocate
For children and for adoption.
May their energy and effort
Be a source of healing.

Father of the fatherless,
Mother of the motherless,
We are all Your children.
Watch over children and youth still waiting for families,
Still in need of hope and shelter,
And bring them speedily to a home of love and care.
Let Your light shine upon them.
Let Your mercy heal them.
Look with special favor on the children who
Are often left behind: orphans of war,
Children with special needs,
Youths and teens, children of color.

Holy One,
Bring the day when all children will know
The love of parents and the joy of family.
For wholeness.
For healing.
For peace.

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

Postscript: Here’s a link to the prayer I posted for Shemot 5773, “Finding G-d.” Nine pregnancy and fertility prayers appear in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, including: “For Pregnancy,” “Loss of Pregnancy” and “Loss of Pregnancy (Husband/Partner).” Other prayers about family include: “On the Birth of a Child” and “On the Birth of Grandchildren.” For more prayers about family, click here.

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. Please take a moment to explore my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Photo Source: Adoptive Families Circle

Mikeitz 5775: For Our Brothers

Posted on: December 18th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

keep-calm-and-respect-your-brother-2This is a prayer for our brothers. In this week’s Torah reading Mikeitz, Joseph begins the process of testing his brothers to see if they have changed. They appear to have learned some lessons about honor, trustworthiness and family. This prayer is from a series of prayers about rejoicing in family relationships. It appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and HealingTo listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows. For Mikeitz 5773, I posted a social justice prayer called “Against Hunger.”

 

For Our Brothers
For our brothers,
A chant of honor.

Brother, to have you is a blessing,
A gift of endurance and strength.
Your courage is my shield,
Your humor, my cloak,
Your humility, my guide,
Your vigor, my hope.
Your victories witness your confidence,
Your devotion
And your zeal.

You are my brother by birth
My brother by choice,
My brother through pain
And my brother in thanksgiving.

G-d of brotherly dignity and grace,
Bless our family with gratitude
And our brothers with enthusiasm, vitality and wonder.
May their devotion inspire us to justice and mercy.
Bless our lives with energy and prosperity
So that we become a source of healing in our lives
And in the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of brothers,
Who delights in brotherly love.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also: “For Our Sisters,” “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch” and “For the Family Historian.” Note that this prayer is written to be used by both men and women to honor their brothers. “For Our Brothers” first appeared on this site on Oct. 2, 2010.

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: KeepCalm-O-Matic

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

To Adopt a Child

Posted on: November 19th, 2013 by Alden No Comments

struggle-part-of-storyThis is a prayer to be used by those seeking to adopt a child. It’s a new prayer in the general theme of the journey to parenthood. Nine pregnancy and fertility prayers appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. The choices for customizing this prayer an attempt to recognize a wide variety of family circumstances in adoption, such as: singles, gay couples and families that already have children. Word choices are identified with a slash (/) and optional lines are shown in [brackets].

To Adopt a Child
Ancient One,
G-d of hope,
How I/we yearn for a/another child!
I/We have prayed,
I/We have cried,
I/We have shown my/our sorrow to heaven,
[As I/we moved through fertility treatments],
As I/we strive to be called mother/father/mother and father
To a child,
A shining light of Your creation.

G-d of Old,
Grant me/us the wisdom to be gentle with myself/ourselves
In time of longing.
Bless me/us with courage and wisdom,
With patience and with understanding.
[Bless my/our children with a deep sense of my/our abiding love.]
Let me/us feel Your divine presence in these hours of waiting,
These days of hoping,
These months, perhaps years, of praying.

Bless me/us with a child,
With the gift of generations,
With the gift of love,
So that I/we may become a well of gifts
For a precious child, a soul in need.

Blessed are You, Source of life.
Hear this prayer.

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

Postscript: Here are related prayers regarding pregnancy and fertility: “For Pregnancy,” “Loss of Pregnancy” and “Loss of Pregnancy (Husband/Partner).” Here are others about family: “On the Birth of a Child” and “On the Birth of Grandchildren.” For more prayers about family, click here.

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. Please take a moment to explore my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Photo Source: Mommy Run Fast

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.”

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Photo Source: UofL Physicians

On Removing a Child’s Life Support (Clergy Version)

Posted on: June 17th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Baby on Life SupportThis is the clergy version of prayer written for a moment beyond imagination. It’s an adaption of “On Removing a Child’s Life Support.” The prayer is divided into two parts: a meditation before the removal of life support and a brief prayer after the child passes on. This revision includes sections for both clergy and parents. The original prayer was written at the request of Rabbi Stephanie Covitz, resident chaplain at an Ohio children’s hospital. She was asked to assist a family at that difficult moment. May all who face these choices find consolation and renewal.

On Removing a Child’s Life Support (Clergy Version)

Before the Removal

Clergy:
What is healing?
And what is kindness?
What is mercy?
And what is grace?
What is love?
And what is compassion?

Soul of the Universe,
You are our beginning
And you are our ending.
When ______________________ (name of parent/parents/guardian)
Dreamed of becoming [a father/a mother/parents/modify as appropriate]
He /She/They never expected to face the death of a child,
Still only [a baby/child/youth /teen/in (his/her prime)],
To remove life support,
And, in days to come, to bury him/her.
You have challenged them to make painful choices,
Unimaginable choices,
And yet, G-d of Ages, benevolent and holy choices.

Parents:
We do this in the name of healing.
And we do this in the name of kindness.
We do this in the name of mercy.
And we do this in the name of grace.
We do this in the name of love.
And we do this in the name of compassion.
We do this from the depths our despair
Praying to find a path back to wholeness and life renewed.

Clergy:
G-d of Old, we ask for Your blessing, for Your Shelter and for Your Peace.

After Passing

Clergy:
Author of Life,
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace to
______________________ (name of the child in Hebrew or your native tongue),
Whose life has ended too soon.
Bless this family with
Faith to mourn,
Courage to heal,
Strength to rebuild,
And devotion to each other.
May the memory ___________ (first name)
Be sanctified with joy and love.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A source of blessing in our midst.

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

Postscript: Here’s a “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child.” See also “On Removing a Child’s Life Support,” “For the Bereaved” and “For Bereaved Children.” Thanks to Rabbi Covitz for using some of my work in her Rabbinic thesis. I am touched that she has turned to me for assistance on several occasions.

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: The Sunday Times

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