Posts Tagged ‘family’

 

Meditation for a Child’s First Torah Reading

Posted on: May 19th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

backlittorahThis prayer was inspired by a video of a friend’s daughter reading Torah, although it wasn’t her first time chanting. Add the Shehecheyanu to the end of this prayer. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows. Here are two related short, short stories: “Mendel Baruch” and “Motyl the Fool.”

 

 

Meditation for a Child’s First Torah Reading
Holy one,
Ancient Source of wisdom and truth,
My daughter / son is about to enter
The sacred garden of Your Law,
Chanting Torah on behalf of our people for the first time.
How splendid is this moment!
How amazing in beauty and hope!
May this be the beginning of a miraculous journey,
A sacred romance of head and heart
Between my daughter / son and the wisdom of the ages,
Between my child and Your Holy Word.
Grant me the ability to listen and to hear
As she / he gives voice to Your mysteries.
May this moment herald a life
Dedicated to unlocking the secrets
Hidden in our holy texts.
May I be privileged to hear her / him
Read Torah again and again,
Always remembering my joy in this moment,
My heart full of praises.
[Add Shehecheyanu.]

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

Postscript: Here’s a short, short story about reading Torah for the first time, “Hershal Dovid: A Torah Reading Story.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and TwitterPlease consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: Judea Reform Congregation

A Prayer for Mom

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

Ada Publicity ShotHere’s a prayer to honor Mom. “For the Matriarch” is from a series of prayers celebrating family, including “For the Patriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters”and “For the Family Historian.” Each opens with the tone of psalm and ends with a blessing. They all 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 the Matriarch
For our matriarch,
A song of strength and hope.

Guardian of generations,
Keeper of traditions,
Hand of guidance and love,
We are blessed by your wisdom and purpose,
Your work to bind us to our heritage,
Your dedication to peace in our homes
And joy in our lives.
You remind us to open our hearts to our brothers and sisters,
Fathers and mothers,
Daughters and sons.
You remind us to honor and cherish cousins of cousins of cousins,
And to live together, in harmony,
By G-d’s holy word.

G-d of motherly wisdom and grace,
Bless our family with health
And our matriarch with vision, endurance and hope.
May her devotion inspire us to live by our highest ideals,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with laughter
And our days with purpose,
So that we bring radiance and splendor to our family
And to the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our mothers,
Who provides just and righteous women
In every generation.

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

Postscript: The photo is my mom. She was an actress. I welcome ideas for more topics in this series of family prayers. Others include: “For the Patriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters”and “For the Family Historian.” This prayer was first posted on May 9, 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 use or like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: Mom

My Child Leaves Home (A Parent’s Prayer, Revised)

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

Tomorrow my daughter Dana moves to Los Angeles. She’s lived with me for three months between college and career. This prayer was first written and posted last year. In the past few weeks I’ve become more keenly aware of the array of emotions captured here: joy for Dana’s achievements, concern with my own life transition. Here it is in Dana’s honor, revised (tweaked, really) based on comments from readers.

My Child Leaves Home (A Parent’s Prayer)
Holy One,
Heavenly Guide,
My daughter / son is leaving home
To begin the adventure of an independent life.
Bless her / his journey with joy and wonder.
Let opportunity open like a rose before her / his eyes.
Be her / his compass and her / his shield.
Lead her / him on a path of discovery
Guided by the love of Torah,
A commitment to mitzvot,
And dedication to the Jewish people.
Bless her / him with mentors and teachers,
Companions and friends,
Scholars and rabbis,
To support and guide her / him along the way.

In this marvel,
In this glorious moment of growth fulfilled,
My heart struggles with contradictions:
Pride and fear,
Joy and grief,
Love and loss.
The landscape of my life is shifting,
Offering new challenges and new choices
In the very moment my child departs.
Give me the wisdom and the strength to honor my own life
With gentleness and courage,
And to embrace the beauty and promise of the time to come.

G-d of our fathers and mothers,
G-d of sacred transitions,
Bless my daughter / son
_______________ (child’s name in Hebrew or your native tongue)
As she / he sets out on this new life.
May she be a blessing to her / his [new] community.
Lead us back to each other often,
With stories of marvelous moments and amazing discovery.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d,
Who watches over the lives of our children.

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

Postscript: As I noted (more eloquently) after the original post, this is a prayer of affluence. The ability to send a child to college, or help to launch her into the world, is a blessing in itself.

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column. 

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After Shiva

Posted on: January 30th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Woman-kneeling-under-tree-300x200After shiva, now what? I remember that feeling when my father Jack z”l died and again when my wife Ami z”l died. Her shiva ended with the start of Passover. After the hubbub, that empty silence settled in. I wrote this prayer of loss and healing for my extended family as the shiva for my uncle Jerry z”l. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

After Shiva
The days have passed
And a quiet has settled on my home.
My grief still holds me.
My sorrow is present.
Yet You, G-d of seasons,
Ask me to look gently
Toward the future.
You, G-d of creation,
Ask me to imagine a time
When the pain begins to fade,
A time when my hopes are renewed.
You, G-d of generations,
Ask me to honor life,
To cherish memory,
To love those who remain.

Source and Shelter,
Loving Guide of the bereaved,
Lead me on the path toward
Wholeness and healing,
Peace and comfort,
So that I become a well
Of compassion and strength.

G-d of Old,
Your ways are secret,
Sacred and holy.
You are my Rock.
You are my Lamp.

Blessed are You,
G-d of All,
Who redeems the bereaved
With love.

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

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Postscript: Here are links to two mourner’s prayers: “For Bereaved Children,” which I wrote for my daughters when Ami z”l passed away, and “For the Bereaved.”

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: 757 Good Health Blog

Our Patriarch: Jerold S. Solovy z”l

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

Here’s a prayer reposted in memory of my uncle Jerry Solovy z”l. The Chicago ADL has renamed the Jerold S. Solovy Freedom Award in his memory. The Chicago Sun-Times said: “It’s hard to imagine a Chicago lawyer who outranks Jerold S. Solovy in terms of reputation, influence and largesse.”

For the Patriarch
For our patriarch,
A song of dignity and honor.

Guardian of mitzvot,
Keeper of truths,
Hand of protection and peace,
We are blessed with your humor and compassion,
Your zest for life
And your zeal for family.
You remind us to open our lives to G-d’s majesty and mystery
G-d’s justice and mercy.
You remind us to seek radiance and splendor,
Awe for creation and compassion for each other,
And choose joy over grief,
Laughter over tears.

G-d of fatherly patience and strength,
Bless our family with love
And our patriarch with vision, endurance and hope.
May his devotion inspire us to righteousness and charity,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with abundance
And our days with vigor,
So that we bring majesty and mystery to our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our fathers,
Who provides just and righteous men
In every generation.

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

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

Postscript: Here are links to two mourner’s prayers: “For Bereaved Children,” which I wrote for my daughters when Ami z”l passed away, and “For the Bereaved.” “For the Patriarch” is part of a series including: “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters” and “For the Family Historian.”

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: Alden Solovy Family Photo

For a Critically Ill Child

Posted on: December 8th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Writing this prayer was a struggle. Why do children face physical or mental illness, pain, abuse, injustice? Can a sad, confused or angry parent’s feelings find voice in prayer? As a result, this prayer includes several personal choices identified in [brackets]. Gender selections are noted with a slash. There are two places to name the child and one to name the medical condition, shown with blank lines. This prayer will appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

For a Critically Ill Child
G-d who made all things,
Source of blessing and healing,
Well of mystery and love,
I [understand that] [don’t understand why]
Children face the same perils as adults.
I [accept that] [don’t accept that]
This is my son’s/daughter’s journey.
I [surrender] [refuse to surrender]
My desires to Your will.
[Still, I pray.]

You who healed Miriam in the desert,
Bring Your healing power to [my son/daughter]
_______________ (child’s name in Hebrew or your native tongue)
So that she/he may know life and health,
Joy and love.

Bless all who face ______________ (name of disease or condition afflicting child)
With wholeness and peace.
Provide wisdom and insight to scientists and researchers
So that treatments and cures can be found for this
And all afflictions suffered by children,
Speedily in our days.

Grant our family and her/his caregivers fortitude and compassion.
[Grant me/us the skills and resources to help my/our other children as they struggle through this family trauma.]
[Give me the gentleness, awareness and presence of mind to care for my husband/wife/partner as we struggle together.]
And give me/us the strength to ask others to care for me/us in my/our pain and distress.

G-d of our people,
Ancient Source of majesty,
Bring healing to all in need,
Grant relief to all who suffer
And look with favor on [my son/daughter][name of child ________________]
In this hour of uncertainty.
Bless her/him with strength,
Remove her/his pain,
Relieve her/his distress,
And cure her/his body, mind and spirit.

Blessed are You, G-d of mystery,
May health and healing come speedily to those in need.

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

Postscript: Other healing prayers include: “For a Critically Ill Mother,” “For Surgery,” “Upon Recovery from Surgery” 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.

On the Birth of Grandchildren

Posted on: October 31st, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

When my daughter Dana saw me typing this prayer into the computer she said: “Don’t get any ideas.” I hope to have grandchildren someday, but not until my daughters are ready. If that days comes, I’ll be prepared with this prayer. See also: “On the Birth of a Child,” a prayer for parents. Both prayers will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

On the Birth of Grandchildren
In gratitude and thanksgiving,
Humbly and on bended knee,
We offer praise to You,
G-d Most High,
For the gift of grandchildren.
Bless them with prosperity and health,
Wisdom and strength,
Grace and happiness.
Bless them with well-being
And a sense of well-being.
May they thirst for Torah and Mitzvot,
And do honor to Your Holy Name.

Bless their parents with patience and understanding.
Bless their grandparents with joy and devotion.
Bless them at home,
Bless them on their way.
Bless them in study,
Bless them at play.
Bless them in love,
Bless them in heartache.
Shelter them,
Guide them,
Protect them,
Heal them in their time of need.
G-d of our ancestors,
Source and Comfort,
Love them as You love Your people Israel.

Blessed are You, Creator of All,
Father of Kindness, Mother of Wisdom, Gentle Teacher,
You renew Your people with new life, new love, new birth,
Generation after generation.

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

Postscript: For prayers about family, click here. See also: “On the Birth of a Child.”

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.

 

For the Family Historian

Posted on: October 14th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This is a prayer for the one who holds the flame of family history. I wrote it in honor of our family historian, Irwin Keller. Irwin posted this prayer on a Jewish genealogy website and it was subsequently published in the spring 2010 edition of Morasha, the newsletter of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. It’s part of my series of prayers for family, including “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For Our Sisters.”

Please listen along as you read. (Click on the triangle in the slider bar below. The entire text follows.)

For the Family Historian
For the family historian,
        A song of thanksgiving.

Guardian of the family tree,
Keeper of our history,
We are blessed with your love and devotion,
Your tireless efforts to know our heritage,
Your work to keep us united,
Your joy in rediscovering brothers and sisters
Once separated, apart no more.
Your work reminds us to love and cherish the living,
To honor and praise the dead,
To embrace the lost,
To welcome each other home.

G-d of mystery and wonder,
Bless our family with strength and peace,
Wholeness and love,
Health and prosperity.
May sons and daughters find joy under the chupah.
May our parents be given long lives and easy deaths.
Bless us with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren,
So that the generations expand,
A wondrous celebration of Your gifts.

Blessed are You, G-d of our mothers and fathers,
Who delights in family wholeness and love.

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

Postscript: Other prayers for family members include: “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For Our Sisters.”

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook.

For Our Brothers

Posted on: October 2nd, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

795px-Duke_Kahanamoku_sitting_with_brother_Sam_KahanamokuThis is a prayer to honor our brothers. It’s part of a series of prayers about rejoicing in family relationships, including: “For Our Sisters,” “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch” and a favorite of mine called “For the Family Historian.” This will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and HealingTo listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

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 www.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. As such, it’s not part of the body of prayers that I’ve written specifically for men.

If you use this prayer, please click take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

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: WikiMedia Commons

For Our Sisters

Posted on: September 5th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This prayer celebrates our sisters. I have two, Mara and Blair. I love them with all my heart. This prayer is part of a series rejoicing in family, including “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For the Family Historian.”

To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

For Our Sisters
For our sisters,
A dance of  joy.

Sister, to have you is a blessing,
A gift of grace and love.
Your dignity is my shield,
Your compassion, my cloak,
Your wisdom, my guide,
Your laughter, my hope.
Your triumphs witness your endurance,
Your purpose
And your power.
You are my sister by birth,
My sister by choice,
My sister through heartache
And my sister through blessings.

G-d of sisterly devotion and warmth,
Bless our family with understanding
And our sisters with passion, prosperity and peace.
May their devotion inspire us to kindness and service.
Bless our days with moments together,
Celebrations of love and loss,
So that we may bring renewal and rejoicing into our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of sisters,
Who delights in sisterly love.

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

Postcsript: If you like this prayer, you may also like “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers” and “For the Family Historian.”

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.

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