Posts Tagged ‘joy’

 

The Density of Love

Posted on: July 18th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

A simple prayer/poem about love and hate, fire and water, written in the voice of the spiritual traveler, the one who knows, the one who hints at secrets, the one who loves you on your journey, the one who lives above the flames…

The Density of Love
Hate has a specific gravity,
A relative density to love
So much heavier,
Molten lava singeing water,
Creating steam.

O you hearts of gold,
You precious metal,
You live above anger’s fire,
And cannot be burned.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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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: Image created on Canva

How to Find G-d

Posted on: January 6th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

A simple meditation on seeking–and finding–G-d. Perhaps it is not as difficult as we might think. Perhaps it is only a matter of our willingness to see. Or perhaps I need to look a bit more closely at myself, others and the world.

How to Find G-d

Look for the image of G-d
In all that is,
In all that was,
In all that will be.
For the image of G-d radiates
From your life
And from your face,
The holiness that infuses us all.
This is the legacy,
The gift forever given,
Passed from mother to child,
From father to babe,
Visible in your countenance
And in your way of being.
Look for the image of G-d
Inside yourself,
And you will see it
In everyone and everything.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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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.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo: Taken in Ya’ar Kedoshim by Alden Solovy

Duet of Joy and Sorrow

Posted on: December 23rd, 2021 by Alden No Comments

“I consider it a spiritual awakening that I can hold grief and joy simultaneously, that they exist side by side,” I told Michael Liben on his “Bereaved but Still Me” podcast episode titled for this prayer/poem, “Duet of Joy and Sorrow” from latest book This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer. Hear me read the piece and talk about it with Michael by clicking here.

Duet of Joy and Sorrow

When the beginning ends,
And the ending begins,
So that the beginning
Can begin again . . .

In the moment
That the flame jumps
From match to candle,
Extinguishing the match
To bring light
Until the light is gone . . .

From the first cry of birth,
To the last sigh of death,
This precious life
Sings a duet of joy and sorrow,
The song of living,
Sung to music from beyond,
Sung to the rhythm of the heavens,
And the beat of your heart.

Let this day be for song.
Let this day be for joy and laughter.
Let this day be for blessing.
Let us bind our days with holiness and love.

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

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Postscript: Check out the “Bereaved But Still Me” Facebook page by clicking here.

Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. 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.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Source: Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

Summoned to the World

Posted on: May 27th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

A simple meditation about why G-d called your soul to earth, and what it says about the choices you make.

Summoned to the World
Something you do
Will resonate
Throughout eternity.
That is why you are here.
To touch time
With your soul.
To create ripples
In the flow of our days.

You were summoned to the world
By G-d’s will.
Holiness aspires
The work of your hands.
The divine requires
The prayers of your heart.

Create beauty.
Spread love.
Embody kindness.
Do justice.
Pursue peace.
Always knowing that
The moment of your life
Summoned by eternity,
The moment of your life
Without which the universe
Could not stand,
Is a secret
In heaven and on earth.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Please check out my CCAR Press Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. Here’s a link to my ELItalk, “Falling in Love with Prayer..” 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: DH News

First Coffee

Posted on: February 14th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

This is a bit of whimsy wrapped in a classic prayer. I have for some time thought about writing a prayer for the first coffee of the day. One morning, as I said modeh ani, our traditional one-line prayer on waking up, it hit me: Thank you, G-d, for restoring coffee to me! This two-part prayer combines a lighthearted adaptation of the modeh ani with the customary prayer before drinking coffee.

First Coffee
I offer thanks to You, ever-living Sovereign, for You have restored my coffee to me in mercy, how great is Your trust.
.מוֹדֶה / מוֹדָה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי הַקָפֶה שֶׁלִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶך
Modeh / Modah anee lefanecha melech chai vekayam, shehechezarta bee hacaffe sheli b’chemla, raba emunatecha.

Blessed are You, Adonai our G‑d, Sovereign of the universe, by Your word all things came to be.
ֹ .בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אלהינו מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהַכֹּל נִהְיָה בִּדְבָרו
Baruch atah Adonai, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam shehakol nihiyah bed’varo.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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: Unsplash

Praise, Praise

Posted on: December 13th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

A hallelujah song, with two acrostic paragraphs each spelling the word ‘praise.’ It’s also a salute to the psalms of praise in Jewish liturgy known as Hallel, or praises. The translation of Hallelujah as ‘Celebrate G-d’ comes from Michael Haruni’s Nehalel Siddur. This appears in my new book This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press. It’s appropriate for Passover, Chanukah, Rosh Chodesh, the Festivals, anytime Hallel is said or you feel moved to Praise G-d!

Praise, Praise
Hallelujah,
Celebrate G-d!

Praise with song,
Rejoice with dance,
Attest with word,
Inspire with deed,
Shout with joy,
Exclaim with awe.

Proclaim G-d’s majesty,
Recall G-d’s works,
Adore G-d’s wonders,
In hymns of love,
Sanctifying G-d’s blessings,
Eternal.

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

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Please check out my Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy from CCAR Press. The individual books are: This Joyous Soul , This Grateful Heart, and This Precious Life. 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.”

Photo Source: The Met 150

Heart, Soul, Might

Posted on: August 15th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

Here’s a new meditation on the Shema. My other meditations on the Shema include “Affirmation of Faith” and “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion.”

Heart, Soul, Might
When you choose
ואהבת (v’ahavta)
To love
את יהוה אלהיך (et Adonai Elohecha)
Adonai your G-d
בכל-לבבך (b’chol l’va-v’cha),
With all your heart,
You must choose
To love yourself
The way G-d
Already does.

When you choose
ואהבת (v’ahavta)
To love
את יהוה אלהיך (et Adonai Elohecha)
Adonai your G-d
בכל-נפשך (b’chol nafshe’cha),
With all your soul,
You must choose
To love others
The way G-d
Already does.

When you choose
ואהבת (v’ahavta)
To love
את יהוה אלהיך (et Adonai Elohecha)
Adonai your G-d
בכל-מאדך (b’chol me’odeh’cha),
With all your might,
You must choose
To love creation
The way G-d
Already does.

When you choose
To love everything and everyone
The way G-d already does,
You will flow with grace
Through the river of life
To the Soul of the universe.

,למען תזכרו ועשיתם את-כל-מצותי
.והייתם קדשים לאלהיכם
L’maan tizk’ru, vaasitem et-kol-mitzvotai,
Vihyitem k’doshim l’Eloheichem.
Be mindful of my mitzvot and do them,
And you will become holy unto your God.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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: Orthodox Christian Network

Recipe for a Life, Redux

Posted on: April 8th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

I made sweet and sour meatballs today for the first time. And chicken soup. The kitchen smells lovely, like our family Seders of long ago. Underneath, a familiar shock, brought back by this odd intersection between Passover and modern plague. The jolt to the system of the sudden end of Ami’s z”l shiva — after only two days — to make Seder. That feeling of doing the Seder anyway, because that’s what we do, and dammit how could it ever, ever, ever be the same. So this is post-trauma, I suppose. Or just plain trauma. I dunno. It doesn’t matter. We’re all in this moment of doing the best we can with the world we’ve been given. I made chicken soup and sweet and sour meatballs for the first time today. But here’s the recipe for a life (the text follows a video recitation):

Recipe for a Life
1 cup gratitude
2 tablespoons humility
½ teaspoon pride
5 cloves love, 2 crushed
4 seeds forgiveness
2 tall stalks strength
1 tablespoon surrender
2 sprigs awe
3 sprigs wonder
½ cup hard knocks, melted
1 cup fresh squeezed joy
½ cup pounded sorrow
1 cup wisdom, sifted
1 gleaming ray of light
Two cubes compassion
Dash of fleeting time
Pinch of coarse suffering
Zest of music
Zest of prayer

Combine ingredients
Stir with abandon
Invite friends
Sing

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

Note: As a writing coach I have two open spots for new clients. Contact me at: alden@tobendlight.com.

Postscript: This prayer/poem was first published on this site on Dec. 25, 2016.

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.

Home page image: ooffoo.com

Show Me

Posted on: July 24th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

What does G-d want from us? Our service to Torah, mitzvot and tikun olam. These actions are a source of holiness and love. Thank you to Joanne Fink and Zenspirations for use of the illustration.

Show Me
Show me the works of your hands
And the deeds of your heart
And I will cause holiness
To pass through you
Like the wind through the trees
Summoning your soul
To mingle with Mine.

Set your mind to all
That is kind and just,
Compassionate and good.

Set your hand to all
That is right and true,
Charitable and healing.

Incline your heart to all
That is righteous and holy,
Glorious and full of wonder.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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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.

Photo Source: Zenspirations by Joanne Fink

Come Walk, Revisited

Posted on: July 19th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Saturday marks 50 years since the first manned spacecraft landed on the Moon, with the first human steps there coming a few hours later, with Apollo 11 Commander Neil Alden Armstrong’s now immortal words: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” In that moment, it seemed that there were no horizons that we couldn’t conquer with effort and imagination. In 50 years we’ve learned more about the vastness of our universe and the depths of our inner dimensions. To commemorate the first moon walk, here’s an invitation for you to walk the unexplored landscapes of your heart.

Come Walk
I know a man who lives in a rainbow.
I’ve heard the poet who lives on the moon.
I’ve heard the secret that sings all around you.
I know a man who can teach you the tune.

Hear the music among the lilies
And whispers in the blades of grass.
Hear the thunder beneath the ocean.
Feel the love that will always last.

Come walk the sacred sunshine.
Come walk the Milky Way.
Walk gently through the heavens.
Walk gently through each day.

Put your head upon my shoulder
And your hand upon my chest.
Put your hope above your sorrow.
Give yourself a time to rest.

I know a man who sings from the mountains,
And another who sings from the seas.
I’ve heard the man who sings from his glory,
And the man who sings on his knees.

Come walk between the layers of clouds.
Come walk the spirals of stars.
Walk gently through joy and sorrow.
Walk gently, walk holy, walk far.

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

Postscript: This meditation first appeared on this site on August 8, 2010. Thank you to Ira Scott Levin, Julia Bordenaro Levin and Tracy Friend. Their music helped me find this voice. Thanks also to Ros Roucher, her comments on earlier drafts. Here are more prayer/poems from the spiritual traveler: “All is Well,” “River,” “Bird is Bird” and “About the Rainbow.” 

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my two CCAR Press books: This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings 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: Wikipedia

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

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