Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

 

Looking Back at Our Long Marriage

Posted on: April 23rd, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A simple prayer to be said after years and years of marriage. Here’s a related prayer, a “Blessing for a Spouse / Partner.” And for those just starting out, here are two more: “Bind Our Hearts” and “My Life in Yours.”

Looking Back at Our Long Marriage
Where has the time gone?
The days. The memories.
Where will time lead us?

Thank you, my dear,
For the years of devotion,
And the blessing of forgiveness.
For the seasons of laughter,
And the blessing of tears.

It was something, you and me, wasn’t it?
It still is, although most of the seasons are behind us.
We will celebrate and rejoice,
Mourn and love,
As we always have.

Thank you, G-d of love,
For this amazing marriage.
Watch over us
As we grow old together.

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

CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY: Thanks to CCAR Press for offering a 30% off sale on This Grateful Heart for my birthday. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, go to grateful.ccarpress.org  and use the code Alden30 at checkout. It’s valid for 24 hours and takes 30% off the retail price, making it $10.46, plus shipping.

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: Caroline’s Journal

Beshalach: Manna

Posted on: January 21st, 2018 by Alden No Comments

In Parashat Beshalach, G-d begins to provide manna for the Israelites wandering in the desert. If you look carefully, with your heart, with the eyes of your soul, you’ll see that manna never stopped flowing from heaven. Love is everywhere. Blessings abound. God’s gifts are yours.

Manna
Manna still flows from heaven,
Riding on beams of light,
Warmth and heat,
Awe and passion,
Wonder and glory,
Feeding this grateful heart.

Manna still flows from heaven,
Summoned with beams of prayer,
Mourning and jubilation,
Praise and thanksgiving,
Hope and yearning,
Praising G-d’s Holy Name.

Manna still flows from heaven,
To sustain this land,
To nourish this soul,
To enliven the days
And bless the nights
With bread of life
From the Soul of the Universe.

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

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Postscript: See also “Recipe for a Life.”

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: Medical News Today

To Hear Me Sing

Posted on: December 20th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This is a prayer of yearning, yearning for healing and for the support of others along the way.

To Hear Me Sing
Are you awake enough to hear me?
Are you alert enough to see me?
Are you present enough to stand with me?

Brother, I need your courage and your vision.
Sister, I need your strength and your wisdom.
The shadow of doubt
Has darkened my sight,
And the cold wind of despair
Has settled in my bones.
Loneliness and grief
Have wrapped themselves
Around my heart.

G-d of Old,
What secret truth
Have You hidden in this longing?
What Torah
Have You concealed in this yearning?
What moment of discovery will come
When this sorrow breaks
And I begin to sing again?

Brother, walk with me through this darkness.
Sister, walk with me toward the healing light.
Source and Shelter,
Guide us back –
Through troubling days
And sleepless nights –
To joy and wonder,
Awe and splendor,
Quiet and peace.

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

Postscript: See also: “We are 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 Source: Amoré

My Life in Yours

Posted on: October 23rd, 2017 by Alden No Comments

About four years ago I wrote a love song. As I strolled alone along Jerusalem’s old railway walking path, these words simply appeared. Strange. I wasn’t dating anyone, so why would a love song simply appear? Here are two versions of “My Life in Yours,” the first is a song of yearning for love; the second, which follows, is a wedding prayer recited by one partner to the other or said together in unison. The differences in the two are small, but key.

My Life in Yours – A Love Song
When my heart whispers for you,
When my breath calls your name,
When my eyes sparkle with your grace,
I will plant my life in yours.

When my hands yearn for your healing,
When my ears tune to your voice,
When my pulse beats with your footsteps,
I will plant my life in yours.

The sky, the sea, the horizon,
The moments, the days and the years.
The light, the hope, the glory,
The hours, the seasons, the tears.

When your heart whispers for me,
When your breath calls my name,
When your pulse beats with my footsteps,
I will plant my life in yours…
I will plant this life in yours.

My Life in Yours – A Wedding Prayer
My heart whispers for you,
And my breath calls your name,
As my eyes sparkle with your grace,
I plant my life in yours.

My hands yearn for your healing,
My ears tune to your voice,
As my pulse beats with your footsteps,
I plant my life in yours.

The sky, the sea, the horizon,
The moments, the days and the years.
The light, the hope, the glory,
The hours, the seasons, the tears.

Now your heart whispers for me,
And your breath calls my name,
As your pulse beats with my footsteps,
I plant my life in yours.
I plant this life in yours.

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

Postscript: I recorded myself singing the tune to this piece to share here, but I’m too shy — yes, I said shy — to post it. Here are links to my prayers about love: “Let Love,” “The Cut That Heals,” “For New Love,” “To Seek Your Love,” “A Heart of Love” and “A Moment of Love.” Several of these prayers appear in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: Alden Solovy

Before Morning

Posted on: August 27th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

In the dark and quiet night, a deep yearning sigh for a day of gentle kindness, blessings and peace. Half-awake, a yearning that arrives before morning…

Before Morning
Before morning breaks,
Before the birds begin to sing,
As dawn approaches from beyond the horizon,
And the deep quiet night prepares to depart,
Let the angels secretly bless me.
Let their song echo in my yearning soul.

Before morning breaks,
Before the traffic builds,
As light approaches from the waking day,
And responsibilities prepare to arrive,
Let the love of life surround me,
And joy flow from my grateful heart.

G-d who created light,
Holy One who renews creation,
Bless the coming day with Your majesty and love.
Bless the hours with Your kindness and grace.
Bless the moments with hope and healing.
Let our songs of praise rise before You,
And let peace descend from the highest heavens
To cover the earth.

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

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: National Park Service

Bind Our Hearts

Posted on: January 8th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

imageMazal Tov to my daughter Nikki Braziel-Solovy and her man Prometheus Kevin Trotsky on their engagement. This wedding day prayer alludes to the sheva brachot – the set of seven prayers said under the chuppah, the wedding canopy. Each of the stanzas contains seven lines. The middle stanza is an interpretation of the sheva brachot, borrowing hints and ideas from each of the seven prayers. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Bind Our Hearts
Hope and love,
Love and promise,
Promise and commitment,
Commitment and action,
A sacred pairing,
A holy union,
A celebration of life.

Let this cup of sweetness overflow
Into G-d’s glorious handiwork,
As we delight in creation,
Seeing the divine in each other,
Sharing this abundance with the generations
As loving companions and dedicated friends,
Rejoicing together, now and forever.

Bind our hearts with awe,
Bind our hearts with wonder,
Grant us wisdom and understanding,
Patience and forgiveness,
Days of radiance and light,
Nights of comfort and peace,
Lives of blessing, together.

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

Postscript: See also “A Moment of Love,” “For an Open Heart” and “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner.”

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: Family Snaps on iCloud

Secret Light

Posted on: January 4th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Holiness surrounds us. That’s the theme of this meditation, inspired by my recent ELI talk, “Falling in Love with Prayer” (video soon to be posted). It’s my second meditation referring to the Psalm 97 couplet: “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” A mishna on this line says that a secret light from the time of creation was stored away for the righteous to be revealed in the world to come. I believe that even G-d’s most special light is available to all of us.

Secret Light
The light of G-d
Is not well-hidden,
Not so secret,
That we must battle
The forces of nature
Or armies of evil
To stand it its glow.

It’s there,
Behind your eyes,
Pulsing from the hills,
Rising from the sands.
It’s there,
Inside a spade of dirt,
Inside the caper bud
And the orchid blossom,
In the old folks
And the little ones.

The light of G-d
Is not well-hidden.
Far enough
That you must begin the journey.
Close enough
That you will surely find it.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Being an ELI Speaker is a great experience. Learn more about it here. See also, “Sowing Light” and “Light of G-d.”

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: WikiMedia Commons

A Human Journey

Posted on: December 4th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

img_0727Something about this human journey elevates our souls: discovering deep resilience and healing in the face of our suffering, especially when unexpected tragedy or trauma hit. This is new a prayer of surrender, acknowledging that understanding G-d’s plans is beyond our reach, but that suffering has a purpose and that it is holy.

A Human Journey
My soul needs a human journey.
Sometimes, I wish it weren’t so.
Sometimes I wish that pain and suffering
Had no purpose and no meaning.
Or – if nothing else – G-d would
Share that purpose with me.
But, no, I must find that meaning
Myself.
Sickness and heath.
Disaster and trauma.
The steady drumbeat of death
From the moment of birth.

My soul needs a human journey.
I embrace my fear
With an open heart.
I embrace my hope and my yearning
Never knowing G-d’s answers,
Releasing the vain notion that
G-d will show up to explain
How the foundations of earth were built.

My soul needs a human journey.
Here is where love resides.
Here is where holiness and the mundane dance.
Here is where I encounter you, my friends.
Here is where I encounter You, my G-d.

Yah, Shecinah, Makor Hayiim,
Source of All,
Fountain of mystery,
Bless the hidden and the revealed.
Bless our moments and our years.
Bless this human journey of souls.

© 2016 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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Postscript: Note the reference to Job 38:4: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast the understanding.” See also: “G-d’s Plan” and “Witnessing: A Meditation.” Please take a look at my books Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing and “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Mediations for a New Day.”

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: Tatcha

Ha’azinu: We Are Music

Posted on: October 14th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

music-notesIn this week’s parasha Ha’azinu (Deut. 22), Moses sings a majestic farewell song, beginning by calling on the heavens to hear. The Haftarah (II Sam. 22:1-51) is David’s Song of Thanksgiving. This prayer/poem is about embodying the music of life, hearing the music created when we move in and out of moments together. This piece appears my forthcoming book, 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: While Moses calls on the heavens to give ear, this meditation calls on us to listen to our own — and to each other’s — hearts. This is my second meditation incorporating instructions to the reader into the prayer. The first is called “Invitations.” Both include this exclamation: “Oh, you hidden delight of heaven. Oh, you secret gift of G-d. Please see also: “Life as a Symphony,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.” This prayer first appeared on this site on Feb. 6, 2013.

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

Light of G-d

Posted on: November 11th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Sunrise US Fish WildlifeThis meditation is inspired by the morning ritual for putting on the tallit, which opens with the two lines of barchi nafshi, (Psalm 104:1-2), continues with the blessing l’hitataif b’tzitzit and closes with four lines beginning mah yakar chasdecha (Psalm 36:8-11). Wrapping ourselves in the tallit, we remember that we’re surrounded by G-d’s light.

Light of G-d
How bright is Your garment of light!
How vast the curtain of heaven!
How great Your splendor and majesty!

I stand before You
In service to Torah and Mitzvot.
Ready. Willing. Present.
Dedicating my heart to You.
My soul singing in praise.

In Your light, we see light.
In Your light, we are bathed in light.
Wrapped in Your light,
We are sheltered by light.

Blessed are You,
Bringing light to the upright in heart.

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

Postscript: The lines “in Your light, we see light” and “in Your light, we are bathed in light” are alternative translations of the words “b’orech neireh or” from Psalm 36. The former and more literal of the two is from The Koren Siddur. The latter is from Siddur Sim Shalom. See also: “Bind and Wrap,” “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion” and “Morning Blessings.”

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: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Libaray

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