Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

 

A Liturgy for the U.S. Presidential Inauguration, 2021

Posted on: January 20th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

A three-prayer liturgy for the U.S. Presidential Inauguration. It includes a new prayer for Vice President Kamala Harris conceived with Cantor Evan Kent. Brief descriptions of each prayer follow in the postscript.

For the U.S. President
God of history,
Bless the U.S. President with skill,
To act with inspiration and insight,
Becoming a visionary for the world,
Building our nation and communities
In Your image,
A steward dedicated to justice,
So that our cities and towns
Resonate with compassion and health,
Justice and mercy,
Kindness and peace.

Bless our President
With dedication and foresight,
Fortitude and imagination
To solve the complex issues that threaten our future.
Let the weight of the office
Change him for the good.
Let the institutions of our government
Serve as checks and balances to his power.
May he lead us to a time when neighbors embrace
And communities thrive,
A time when liberty and equality
Reign supreme.

Source and Shelter,
Grant safety and security
To all nations and communities,
So that truth and harmony will resound
From the four corners of the earth.
Let the light of wisdom
Shine brightly in the halls of power,
A beacon of hope
For every land and every people.

A Prayer Celebrating Kamala Harris’ Inauguration
Our God and God of our mothers and fathers,
On this historic inauguration
We celebrate a woman becoming Vice President of the United States,
A 100 year-climb from women’s suffrage to the Oval Office.

We honor and remember all the women in our lives who sought freedom,
And all who came before in this struggle,
The women who paved the way for equality,
Who marched in the streets,
Who supported their families,
Who battled sexism and racism in the face of hostility.
Who were paid less,
Passed over for jobs,
And battled for promotions,
Who had to prove themselves more capable than male colleagues.

Vice President Kamala Harris has broken through
One of the most formidable glass ceilings of leadership
And into the innermost sanctum of power
In the world’s most successful democracy
At a time of crisis.
Black. Asian-American. Woman.
Powerful. Focused. Unyielding.
Articulate. Educated. Brilliant.
Successful, she is everything
The old guard
And the good ol’ boys fear.

The glass ceiling of government –
The White House and the Office of the Vice President –
Has been broken.
There is only one more glass ceiling left.
But the barriers that still
Keep minorities and women from rising
To the upper rungs of success,
Regardless of their qualifications or achievements,
Have not been broken for all.
As we celebrate this victory,
We pledge ourselves to continue the struggle,
Knowing the depth of the work of justice and healing required.

For Government
יקום פרקן מן שמיא
Yikum purkan min shemaiya
Let deliverance arise from heaven
Bringing justice and enlightenment
To the nations of the earth
And to the leaders of the United States,

חנא וחסדא ורחמי
Chi’neh v’chesteh v’ra’chamai
Bringing grace, love and compassion
To the halls of power,
The seats of government,
The capitals of our world.

יהי רצון מלפניך
Y’hi ratzon milfanecha
May it be Your will
To grant the heads of State
A new vision
For safety and prosperity,
Friendship and cooperation,
So that all may know
The fullness of Your blessings,
In a world of generosity and kindness,
Tranquility and peace.

הנותן תשועה וממשלה לנסיאים
Ha’notein t’shu’ah u’memshalah l’nosi’im
May You who gives redemption and governance to presidents,
Reward us with political leaders
With true vision and deep understanding
Of Your instructions to rebuild
And renew the earth,
So that economic, legal,
Social and environmental justice
May bear fruit
For generations to come.

“For the U.S. President” is © 2021 Alden Solovy. “A Prayer Celebrating Kamala Harris’ Inauguration” is © 2021 Alden Solovy and Evan Kent. “For Government” by Alden Solovy is © 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings.

Postscript: With only minor modifications, the opening prayer “For the U.S. President” is the same as my inauguration liturgy from 2017. “For Government” borrows Hebrew from several prayers from the traditional siddur that are said after the Shabbat Torah reading: yikum purkan, y’hi ratzon and hanotein t’shu’ah. It’s from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings.

The prayer of celebration for Kamala Harris’ Vice Presidential inauguration is a third major revision. It was originally written in collaboration with Cantor Evan Kent in 2016 as ritual for breaking a glass anticipating a presidential win by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, representing the broken glass ceiling. We first rewrote it as a ritual for breaking glass for Kamala Harris, but the treachery in Washington seemed to call for a more sober response, which is the version published here. The prayer is inspired by a ritual from Rachel Jacoby Rosenfield which she also created in 2016.

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!

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

For Government

Posted on: January 22nd, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This prayer borrows Hebrew from several prayers from the traditional siddur that are said after the Shabbat Torah reading: yikum purkan, y’hi ratzon and hanotein t’shu’ah. It’s a prayer for the leadership of United States, as well as all nations, with the hope that governments work for a world of justice and peace. This prayer is from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings.

For Government
יקום פרקן מן שמיא
Yikum purkan min shemaiya
Let deliverance arise from heaven
Bringing justice and enlightenment
To the nations of the earth
And to the leaders of the United States,

חנא וחסדא ורחמי
Chi’neh v’chesteh v’ra’chamai
Bringing grace, love and compassion
To the halls of power,
The seats of government,
The capitals of our world.

יהי רצון מלפניך
Y’hi ratzon milfanecha
May it be Your will
To grant the heads of State
A new vision
For safety and prosperity,
Friendship and cooperation,
So that all may know
The fullness of Your blessings,
In a world of generosity and kindness,
Tranquility and peace.

הנותן תשועה וממשלה לנסיאים
Ha’notein t’shu’ah u’memshalah l’nosi’im
May You who gives redemption and governance to presidents,
Reward us with political leaders
With true vision and deep understanding
Of Your instructions to rebuild
And renew the earth,
So that economic, legal,
Social and environmental justice
May bear fruit
For generations to come.

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

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.”

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Prayer for Congregational Wisdom during Conflict

Posted on: December 20th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

synagogueThis prayer is to be said at the start of a meeting when an issue threatens to divide a congregation. The prayer is a reminder of our common goal: creating and sustaining a place of holiness and Torah. Optional language appears in [brackets]. Word choices are separated with slashes (“/”). The blank line is to customize the prayer to a particular situation.

Prayer for Congregational Wisdom during Conflict
G-d of Old,
We come together
As a [congregation / kehilla / synagogue / shul / temple],
A community of men and women,
Young and old,
In reverence for each other,
To speak about ____________________ (brief label/description of the concern/issue),
A challenge facing us as a congregation,
[A challenge that threatens to divide us],
And we look for insight and guidance.

Grant us wisdom as we do this holy work.
We have one desire:
To build a place of holiness,
A place of Torah,
A place of chesed and rachamim.
Grant us the ability to speak with care,
And to listen with understanding.
Open our hearts
So that our words will build deeper connections
And stronger bonds,
In this holy congregation of prayer.

,מי שברך אבותינו אברהם יצחק ויעקוב
,ואמותינו שרה רבקה רחל ולאה
,הוא יברך את הקהל הקדוש הזה
,לחיים ולשלום
,לששון ולשמחה
,לישועה ולנחמה
.ונאמר אמן

May the one who blessed our fathers
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
And our mothers,
Sarah, Rebekkah, Rachel and Leah,
Bless this holy congregation
With life and peace,
Joy and gladness,
Deliverance and consolation,
And let us say: Amen.

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

Postscript: The final paragraph – in both Hebrew and English – combines: i) the opening lines of the prayer for the welfare of a congregation, traditionally said near the end of the Shabbat Torah service; ii) with the addition of the Matriarchs; and, iii) blessings found at the end of the prayer for announcing a new month said on Shabbat Mevorchim. Here’s a related prayer: “Congregational Prayer at the High Holidays.”

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: “Grant us wisdom as we do holy work…” “Prayer for Congregational Wisdom during Conflict” from @ToBendLight https://tobendlight.com/?p=13685

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Photo Source: Frontpage Mag

Omer, Week Seven: Malchut

Posted on: May 30th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

malkhut1Here’s a list of prayers for the themes of week seven of Counting the OmerMalchut– Nobility, sovereignty, leadership. They’re listed in my suggested order, from day 43 at the top of the list to day 49 at the bottom. To read them, click on the name of the prayer.

And a prayer about Counting the Omer: “The Season of Counting.”

During the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot, the period from the exodus to revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and the weeks. And so we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. According to mystical practice, each week has a theme (and each day a sub-theme) that leads us toward revelation. Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut (Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
  • Shavuot

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 Credit: Kabbalah Names

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