Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

 

Jerusalem Still Stands

Posted on: October 20th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

Two weeks have somehow passed since Israel was attacked and invaded. Jews around the world are now targets, as well. Here in Israel, shock and fear, sorrow and tears, have been joined with resolve and action. Our people are strong and resilliant. And Jerusalem still stands.

Jerusalem Still Stands
Two weeks
Have passed
Since rockets
Split the skies,
And invaders
Split our hearts.
Jerusalem
Still stands.

Two weeks
Have passed
Since our sons
Were abducted,
And our daughters
Taken hostage.
Jerusalem
Still stands.

Two weeks
Have passed
Since the blood
Of our people,
And tears of our nation,
Soaked the earth.
Jerusalem
Still stands.

Two weeks
Have passed
And our hearts still ache
And our souls still cry
While we storm
The gates of heaven
With our prayers.
Prayers for the captives.
Prayers for the murdered.
Prayers for the fallen.
Prayers for our soldiers.
Prayers for our people.
And Israel
Still stands.

עם ישראל חי
The people of Israel live.
The nation of Israel lives.
Jerusalem
Still stands.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: This is one of nearly 10 pieces I’ve written since the invasion and war, including one song, “Nothing Left but Tears.”

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, 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. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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Photo Source: Barry Leff, 20October23

Ki Mi’Tzion

Posted on: January 10th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

This is a meditation to be said before removing the Torah from the ark. It appears in This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

Ki Mi’Tzion
Let Torah pour forth
From Jerusalem and Zion.
Let Torah pour forth
From our hearts and our hands.
Let Torah pour forth
From our words and our deeds.
Torah is our light and our salvation.
Torah is our protection and our hope.
And G-d will be with us,
And G-d will bless us,
As Torah lights our way.

כִּי מִצִּיּוֹן תֵּצֵא תוֹרָה
וּדְבַר יי מִירוּשָׁלָֽיִם
Ki miTziyon teitzei Torah,
Ud’var Adonai mi’Y’rushalayim.
For out of Zion will come the Torah,
And the word of Adonai from Jerusalem.

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

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

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: Scrolls for All

Prayers for Jerusalem

Posted on: June 5th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

IMG_0662On Friday night in my synagogue here in Jerusalem, we expressed our love for this city by singing Lecha Dodi to the tune of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, Jerusalem of Gold. Sunday is Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, commemorating Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967. Sunday marks 49 years. Here are five prayers and meditations for and about Jerusalem, as well as some essays about my life here.

Prayers and Meditations

Essays

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

Postscript: Here’s 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: Alden Solovy

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Jerusalem - City of GoldHere’s a short meditation on Shabbat in Jerusalem. I wrote this at a poetry workshop at Limmud UK. Here are links to more of my Shabbat prayers: “For the Arrival of Shabbat,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Come Beloved.” Each of them appear in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem
Shabbat settles on Jerusalem
Like a dove,
Gliding on silent wings.

Shabbat settles in my heart,
A lover with open arms,
Embracing my soul with song,
Wrapping me in quiet breathing.

And I send blessings into the world.
Light.
Bread.
Prayers of peace.

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

Postscript: Here are two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.

Please check out my Meet the Author video and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and 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: Jerusalem – City of Gold, Deborah Tepper Papercut Art

Mothers of Jerusalem

Posted on: November 19th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

SONY DSCThis is a new prayer for peace in Jerusalem. I wrote it in a cab and finished it at O’hare Airport moments ago, as I begin my journey back to my hometown, the City of Peace, the City of Gold.

Mothers of Jerusalem
Mothers of Jerusalem,
Your wail echoes in the hills,
Your grief resounds in the valleys,
Your prayer rises up into the luminous sky.
More fathers and brothers,
More sisters and mothers,
More children and innocent,
Lost to the hand of violence,
Lost to the hand of hatred.

How long, oh my G-d,
How long before cruelty ends
And peace reigns within these borders,
Within these walls,
Within our hearts?
How long, oh my G-d,
Must we open graves for the lost?

G-d of generations,
G-d of millennia,
Spread Your tabernacle
Of safety and shelter
Over this holy city.
Guard our sons and our daughters.
Protect all who dwell within these gates.
Let courage and hope ease this fear.
Let compassion open the souls of the hard-hearted.
Let joy and gladness return,
In song and prayer,
To Your steps of holiness.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here is my piece called “Jerusalem: A Meditation,” as well as a link to other prayers for Israel and for peace. I took special care in writing this prayer so that any mother of Jerusalem – Jew, Christian, Moslem, Catholic, Arab, Druze, any mother – could say this prayer. Perhaps, one day, we will all pray together in peace. Today, my heart is with the victims of terror in Jerusalem.

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

Jerusalem: A Meditation, Revised

Posted on: May 2nd, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Jerusalem GettyI wrote this two years before becoming a Yerushalmi, a Jerusalem resident. This revision shifts the tone slightly, while maintaining the essential view of Jerusalem as the focal point of G-d’s relationship with the Jewish people, the place where heaven and earth touch, the place where history meets our daily lives. What remains: a lovely yet melancholy meditation.

Addendum, Aug. 3, 2014, Erev Tisha b’Av: We have had two terrorist attacks in the city today. And so, the meditation has a much different feel now compared to when I first wrote it four years ago and when I reposted it last year for Yom Yerushalaim.

Addendum, Nov. 10, 2014: We’ve now had a spate of car terrorism and assaults that, again, change the feel of this piece.

Jerusalem: A Meditation (Revised)
Jerusalem,
You are mystery and wonder,
Secrets hidden and secrets revealed.
You are beauty in the hills
And holiness in stone.

City of Peace,
Why are you still besieged by nations?
Why are you held hostage from within?
What errant flight has the white dove taken?
What mission of love and mercy
Has drawn her away from her sacred home?

Jerusalem,
You are prayers and echoes,
Questions without answer,
Yearning and hope,
Radiance and splendor,
The heartbeat of generations.

Jerusalem,
You are my journey and my destination.
You are my dream
And you are my longing.
You are my joy
And you are my sorrow.
Will you be my consolation?

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

Postscript: Here’s a link to the original piece. In this revision I struggled with retaining one sentence: “Why are you still held hostage from within?” One reading of this sentence is as a reference to the recent uptick in terrorism in Jerusalem. In my original thinking, it was a reference to the broad (but not universal) Jewish religious intolerance and a monolithic Rabbinate that results in religious coercion and misogyny, an unabashedly politically and religiously leftist view. I understand that others may read this sentence completely differently, reading it as the question of why Israel, which controls the Temple Mount, bars Jews from praying there. My rationale for maintaining this vague sentence in the meditation is that these questions — from addressing terrorism to religious pluralism — need to be addressed directly, publicly, without shying away from disagreements. Here are links to “Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem,” “Israel: A Meditation” and “For Peace in the Middle East.” Here are more prayers for and about Israel.

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: Eric Meola/ Getty Images

The Road Out

Posted on: July 3rd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

IMG_0656This is a prayer/poem about leaving Israel, Jerusalem in particular. I wrote it on July 3, 2011, on the drive from Jerusalem to Ben-Gurion Airport and was able to post it before my flight boarded. Here’s a list of the other prayers and poems I wrote on that trip: “To Find Home,” “Sages,” “The Way Home” and “A Song that Holds My Heart.” To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

The Road Out
The road out of Jerusalem is down, always down.
Down from the steppes of beauty,
Down from the mount of glory,
Away from G-d’s voice
Still echoing through sacred ground.

The road out of Jerusalem is paved with exile,
With love,
With longing,
With tears.

G-d of our fathers and mothers,
Rachel still cries when we leave the land,
By force or by choice.
The soil still feels our exit,
One less Jewish soul,
One less Jewish heart,
One less Jewish spirit.

Holy One,
Bring us speedily back to the land of our ancestors,
Our dreams,
Our history.
Bring us speedily back to you,
G-d of ages,
In love.

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

Postscript: Click here for more prayers and meditations about Israel.

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: Alden Solovy

For Jerusalem

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Please pray for the City of Peace. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

Jerusalem: A Meditation
Jerusalem,
You are mystery and wonder,
Secrets hidden and secrets revealed.
You are beauty in the hills
And holiness in stone.

City of Peace,
Why are you still besieged by nations?
Why are you held hostage from within?
What errant flight has the white dove taken?
What mission of love and mercy
Has drawn her away
Leaving us to weep, broken-hearted?

Jerusalem,
You are prayers and echoes,
Questions without answer,
Yearning and hope,
Radiance and splendor.

Jerusalem,
You are my journey and my destination.
You are my longing.
You are my sorrow.
Will you be my consolation?

Postscript: I’ve reposted this prayer after today’s bus bombing in our sacred city. This meditation was first posted December 20, 2010.

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

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Jerusalem: A Meditation

Posted on: December 20th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

IMG_0662This is a meditation on the beauty and heartbreak of the City of Gold. A lovely reflection on the City of Peace, it can be used in private prayer, in communal worship or as an additional reading during your Passover Seder. This meditation appears in my new book, Haggadah Companion: Meditations and Readings. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The prayer text follows.

 

Jerusalem: A Meditation
Jerusalem,
You are mystery and wonder,
Secrets hidden and secrets revealed.
You are beauty in the hills
And holiness in stone.

City of Peace,
Why are you still besieged by nations?
Why are you held hostage from within?
What errant flight has the white dove taken?
What mission of love and mercy
Has drawn her away
Leaving us to weep, broken-hearted?

Jerusalem,
You are prayers and echoes,
Questions without answer,
Yearning and hope,
Radiance and splendor.

Jerusalem,
You are my journey and my destination.
You are my longing.
You are my sorrow.
Will you be my consolation?

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

Postscript: Here are links to “Israel: A Meditation” and “For Peace in the Middle East.” Here are more prayers for and about Israel.

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: Alden Solovy

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