Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

 

Elijah

Posted on: March 24th, 2013 by tobendlight

Elijah Beth FlusserThere’s a special kind of a hope, a kind of hope that opens the heart to our deepest yearning for a world of wholeness and love ushered in by G-d’s hand. For me, it’s captured singularly a song that we sing at the Pesach Seder and after Havdalah, a song for “Elijah the Prophet, Elijah the Tishbite. Let him come quickly in our day with the messiah, the son of David.”

Elijah
Eternal One, hear our cause!
Love and gladness, hope and salvation,
Israel restored, the world redeemed,
Justice and mercy in an age of peace.
Announce the time of blessing and wisdom.
Herald the return of holiness, Your world to come.

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

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Postscript: This is my first acrostic. I subsequently wrote an expanded version of this prayer that is not an acrostic.  I’ve been working on two alphabetical acrostics for far too long and have been stumped by certain unforgiving letters near the end of the alphabet. Here’s a link to another Passover meditation, “The Season of Freedom.” Click for a full annotated list of meditations and readings for Pesach.

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: Beth Flusser on Haggadot.com

Release Me

Posted on: March 23rd, 2013 by tobendlight

celebratefreedomcard-673x1024Here’s a new prayer for Passover, which echoes the theme of two of my other Pesach offerings, “Egypt Inside” and “Breaking Bonds.” It’s about yearning for freedom from the emotions and experiences that hold me back, as well as the hope to see myself through G-d’s eyes.

Release Me
Holy One,
Release me from judgment.
Release me from doubt.
Release me from hunger.
Release me from want.
Release me from loneliness.
Release me from despair.
Release me from disappointment.
Release me from anger and shame.
Release me with Your gentle hand
And a song of hope.
Release me with the light of Your Word
And the echo of Your voice.

G-d of Old,
Guide me to wisdom and strength.
Teach me to break free of the chains
That I have wrapped around my own heart.
Teach me to live a life of service to others,
A life in celebration of Your gifts.
Teach me to see myself through Your loving eyes,
So that I may return, rejoicing,
To You
And Your people.

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

Postscript: Here’s a link to another Passover meditation, “The Season of Freedom.” Click here for a full annotated list of meditations and readings for Pesach.

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: Ben David Cards

We Are Music

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by tobendlight

music-notesThis prayer/poem is about embodying the music of life and hearing the music created when we move in and out of moments together. It’s my second incorporating instructions to the reader into the prayer. The first is called “Invitations.” This appears in This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

We Are Music
Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

You are music.
Your breath and hands,
Your smile and tears,
Your eyes and pulse,
Are notes that dance
In the space between us.

We are music.
A symphony conducted
By the rhythm of life,
By G-d’s hand,
By our choices, day-by-day.

Our notes play on,
Separately, together,
The sacred sound of living.
Our music waltzes,
Making melodies fresh and new,
Never heard again,
Bass lines that pulse from our hearts
To the Soul of the Universe.

Joy bends sorrow.
Sorrow bends hope.
Hope bends grief.
Grief bends love.
Love bends joy.

Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

The silence is your longing.
The silence is your yearning for a different song.
The music of your own will
Blocks your heart to the harmonies
Already dancing around you,
To the chorus already singing around you.

Oh, you hidden delight of heaven.
Oh, you secret gift of G-d.
We are music.
We are music.
The music plays
Through us.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript: Please see also: “Life as a Symphony,” “Invitations,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.”

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: Picks and Sticks Music

For the IDF (In Hebrew and English)

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by tobendlight

On Thursday I posted a new prayer for the safety of soldiers serving in the IDF. Since then, I’ve received several requests for a Hebrew version of this prayer. Here it is. As I wrote in the original post, most of it is new, although I’ve taken three lines from “Gilad, Home at Last” and a paragraph from “In Times of War.” This prayer can also used as part of a three-prayer liturgy. The second is for terrorists to find a new path called “To the Terrorist.” The third is for peace, called “For Peace in the Middle East.” RJ Blog posted the entire three-part liturgy.

Earlier today I posted another new prayer called “Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense.” It’s a prayer for Lone Soldiers and all soldiers of the IDF.

Postscript: Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel. I took the photo of the soldiers at the Kotel on Monday.

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 credit: Alden Solovy

Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by tobendlight

Right now, there are young men and women in the IDF who have come alone to Israel, without their families, to live the dream of building lives in Israel and serving our people in the military. The term is chiyal boded – Lone Soldier – and Israel embraces them with love and care. I was touched last week, after posting “For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense,” when the mother of a Lone Soldier emailed to say that it gave voice to her prayers. These young men and women are the inspiration for this prayer, but the idea came from a soldier’s mother. It’s a prayer for Lone Soldiers and all soldiers of the IDF.

Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense
Guardian of Israel,
Young men and women
Have left their homes and families
Throughout the world
To find their place in the Land,
To build lives of hope,
And to serve Your People in the IDF.

Bless them,
And bless all soldiers
Of the Israel Defense Forces,
With strength and skill,
Compassion and determination,
The hallmarks of our military.
Let comradeship bolster their courage.
Let them keep faith with their vision
Of a strong and vital Jewish state.
Look with compassion on their families
And the families of all our military.
Ease their minds.
Console their hearts.
Grant their deepest prayers
For the well-being of their children.

Source of Peace,
Grant a swift and successful end to Operation Pillar of Defense.
Shield our soldiers from the traumas of war.
Keep them safe,
So that they may keep us safe.
Return them swiftly in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: A few lines of this prayer were taken from “For the IDF: Operation Pillar of Defense.” Here are links to two more related prayers, “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel.

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!

For the IDF, Operation Pillar of Defense

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by tobendlight

IDF CroppedHere’s a new prayer for safety of soldiers serving in the IDF. Most of it is new, although I’ve taken the three lines from “Gilad, Home at Last” and a paragraph from “In Times of War.” This prayer can also used as part of a three-prayer liturgy. The second is for terrorists to find a new path called “To the Terrorist.” The third is for peace, called “For Peace in the Middle East.” The liturgy moves from the immediate need for the safety of our soldiers and citizens to our hopes for the future.

ADDENDUM, November 21, 2012: I have since posted this prayer translated into Hebrew, as well as a new prayer called “Lone Soldier, Operation Pillar of Defense.”

For the IDF, Operation Pillar of Defense
Rock of Israel,
Our sons and daughters,
Our brothers and sisters,
Our family and friends,
Have been called to serve
In the name of peace and justice
In Operation Pillar of Defense
To defend and to protect our land
From violence and assault,
From kidnappers and terrorists,
From the rain of missiles from Gaza.

We stand with the defenders of Israel.
We honor the guardians of Zion.
We hold dear the sentries of Am Kadosh.

Grant our leaders insight and strength
To guide our nation on a path of wisdom,
Using our power and might with courage, with caution and with care.
Bless the injured and wounded with Your healing hand
And their families with Your loving grace.

G-d of Old,
We know the price of safety,
We know the cost of security,
We know the dangers ahead.
This is not easy.
This is not desired.
And yet, we cannot be held captive
To hatred and violence.
How much longer should we wait?

Source of Peace,
Grant a swift and successful end to this operation.
Keep our soldiers safe,
And let our soldiers keep us safe.
Return them swiftly in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are links to “To the Terrorist” and “For Peace in the Middle East,” as well as a link to more prayers for Israel.

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: IDF Spokesperson via Times of Israel

Quick Prayer at a Turning Point

Posted on: June 16th, 2012 by tobendlight

ChangeSign1I find myself making decisions quickly as I settle into my new life in Israel. Not knowing the basic rules of living as an insider–culture, social norms, business etiquette, traffic laws, you name it–comes down to getting good advice and going on instinct. This is from my series of “Quick Prayers,” to be said when making a decision which will change life in fundamental ways.

Quick Prayer at a Turning Point
Holy one,
Grant me wisdom and grace
As I make choices
That will change the rhythm of my life
And the pattern of my days.
Bless me with the ability to
Listen for Your guidance,
Trust my decisions,
Embrace the unknown
And rejoice in the adventure.

Blessed are You, Source of strength,
Let these choices become blessings
Of health and prosperity,
Of happiness and service,
For me and everyone I touch.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers in this series include: “Quick Meditation for Today,” “Quick Meditation at Noon,” “Your Name: Quick Prayer at Dusk” and “Quick Meditation at Night.”

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.

My Mitzrayim

Posted on: June 10th, 2012 by tobendlight

I am fresh off of a Call of the Shofar Seasons of Transformation workshop. One of the men told a story about the mitzrayim that we carry inside ourselves, the mitzrayim I carry in me. Mitzrayim, Egypt, the place of my physical bondage, is also the place of my spiritual bondage. This prayer, written two years ago, echoes that theme.

Today I repost this prayer in honor and tribute to the men and women who’ve taken the brave step of facing their personal mitzrayim in Call of the Shofar, the participants of this past weekend in Israel, the staff men and Shofar leadership. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Egypt Inside
This I confess to myself:
I have taken Egypt with me.
I’ve kept myself a slave to grief and loss,
Fear and anger and shame.
I have set myself up as task master,
Driving my own work beyond the limits
Of reasonable time and common sense.
I’ve seen miracles from heaven,
Signs and wonders in my own life,
And still wait for the heavens to speak.

G-d of redemption,
With Your love and guiding hand leaving Egypt is easy.
Leaving Egypt behind is a struggle.
In Your wisdom You have given me this choice:
To live in a tyranny of my own making,
Or to set my heart free to love You,
To love Your people,
And to love myself.

G-d of Freedom, help me to leave Egypt behind,
To hear Your voice,
To accept Your guidance,
And to see the miracles in each new day.

Blessed are You, G-d of wonder,
You set Your people on the road to redemption.

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

Postscript: I also thank my brothers in The Mankind Project who encouraged me to participate in Call of the Shofar. Click here to read my prayers for and about men. Here’s what I wrote when I first posted this prayer on March 29, 2010: “Leaving Egypt is the quintessential Jewish metaphor for the road to freedom. Leaving is only the beginning of that road. Leaving Egypt behind, leaving slavery behind, is much more difficult.”

If you like this prayer, post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks. Please subscribe. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see Share the Prayer!

Inside the Light

Posted on: May 22nd, 2012 by tobendlight

600px-Sextans_B_Hubble_WikiSkyAnother song of the spiritual traveler, whose secret hope is for you to feel the light, to hear the light, to know the light, to become the light. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

Inside the Light
A rainbow shines
Inside the light.
If you could be the dew drop
You would always see it.

Stillness waits
Inside the light.
If you could be the sky
You would always feel it.

The sunrise dawns
Inside the light.
If you could be the horizon
You would always find it.

Freedom flows
Inside the light.
If you could be the wind
You would always ride it.

Beauty rises
Inside the light.
If you could be the sparrow
You would always reach it.

Mystery pulses
Inside the light.
If you could be the wonder
You would always know it.

Majesty reigns
Inside the light.
If you could be the wisdom
You would always hear it.

Faith rests
Inside the light.
If you could be the eagle
You would always hold it.

Your soul glows
Inside the light.
If you could be yourself
You would never leave it.

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

Postscript: I wrote this on the airplane from Chicago to Newark on my way to Israel to make aliyah in 2012. Other songs of the spiritual traveler include: “Come Walk,” “Bird is Bird,” “River,” “Soarbird” and “I am Breathing.”

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: WikiMedia Commons

Prayers for and About Israel

Posted on: April 25th, 2012 by tobendlight

PikiWiki_Israel_2482_independence_day_aerial_demonstration_מטס_יום_העצמאותHere are meditations and prayers for and about Israel. They are divided into two categories: Israel, Our Home; and, For Safety and Peace.

Israel, Our Home

For Safety and Peace

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Photo Credit: אורן פלס, via PikiWikiIsrael and WikiMedia Commons

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