Posts Tagged ‘kindness to strangers’


Vayetze 5775: Messengers among Us

Posted on: November 27th, 2014 by Alden

WOW Kislev Carla at KotelIs it possible to recognize an angel, a messenger of G-d? How would I know? Angels appear at the beginning and the end of this week’s Torah portion, Vayetze, first in Jacob’s dream of a stairway from heaven to earth, then as Jacob and Laban part ways. This meditation asks if we are capable of seeing angels and greeting them with curiosity and wonder whether or not they conform to any expected vision. It includes a not-so-subtle question to those who assail the dedication and joy of women who take on the mitzvah of t’fillin: what if they are also messengers of G-d?

Messengers among Us
What if angels appeared at your door?
Would you recognize them?
Invite them in?
Feed them or wash their feet?
Would you listen to their wisdom
Or laugh at their words?

What if G-d’s messengers
Shaved their beards,
Took off their kippot,
Or wore the clothing of beggars?
Could you see them?
Can you see holiness in the unexpected?
What if angels appeared at your door?

What if G-d’s messengers
Were women in talitot and t’fillin
Singing freely, full voiced, Shema Yisroel,
Chanting the Torah of our people?
Could you hear them?
Can you hear holiness in joyous song?
What if angels appeared at your door?

G-d of ancient vision,
G-d of modern voice,
Open the eyes of our people
To see holiness and love in one another,
To receive the messengers among us
With joy and gratitude.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer reflects my support for women’s prayer at the Kotel. It’s a thank you for the inspiration to begin to explore my own commitment to the mitzvah of t’fillin, which I wrote about in the Times of Israel. The photo is from the Women of the Wall Facebook page. Here’s a link to my Vayetze 5773 selection, “A Moment of Love.” Here’s a related prayer called “Messengers,” which I posted for Vayeira 5773.

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. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: Women of the Wall Facebook Page/Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5775

Vayeira: Messengers

Posted on: November 1st, 2012 by tobendlight

“And Adonai appeared to him in the plains of Mamre, and he (Avraham) was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day; and he lifted his eyes and saw, and behold, three men were standing beside him, and he saw and he ran toward them from the entrance of the tent, and he bowed down to the earth.” – Genesis 18:1-2

Are you ready to receive the messengers of G-d? To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.


G-d of awe and wonder,
Your messengers are all around,
Leading us on Your path,
Guiding us to joy and love.
Open my eyes to the teachers in our midst,
Leading us to Torah and chesed,
Righteousness and charity,
With their kindness and their gentle deeds.
Open my heart to know and to understand their ways,
Their joy in service to You,
Through their service to others,
So that I may become
A source of Your blessings.

Holy One,
Well of Mercy,
Praise to You in heaven and on earth.
Praise for Your messengers among us.
Praise for the Sabbath of our days.
Praise for the Sabbath of our hearts.

Blessed are You, Rock of generations,
Source of All Being,
You plant the seeds
Of holiness among us.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This prayer echoes the themes of kindness from strangers and service to others found in several of my prayers, poems and meditations. Here are two of them: “On the Road” and “For Service.” This prayer was first posted on February 17, 2012.

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: The Bedouin Tent

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

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6