Posts Tagged ‘love’

 

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

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

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 Source: Image created on Canva

Fringes and Bangles

Posted on: June 28th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

A poetic whimsy about the joy of wearing tallit and tefillin, outward signs of our love of G-d, our commitment to mitzvot, and our desire to do G-d’s will in the world.

Fringes and Bangles
We ornament ourselves
With fringes and bangles,
With tallit and tefillin,
Draping ourselves
And wrapping ourselves
In the adornments
Of our faith.

Why ever did
The G-d of Israel
Want a nation of hippies,
Wearing blankets,
And arm bands,
And headdresses,
Adorning ourselves
With symbols and sacred passages
That bind us to Sinai
And all of creation?

We wear the adornments of our faith
With joy and wonder,
With humor and humility,
Dancing in delight
Before the One,
Who smiles blessings
And beauty upon us
With fringes and bangles
Designed from realms above,
The adornments of love.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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

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 Source: United Synagogue/JTA, from The Times of Israel

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.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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

Siddur

Posted on: June 29th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

A simple meditation on the healing power of our liturgy, the healing power of our Siddur, it joins my many meditations on the beauty and power of prayer.

Siddur
Sometimes, I hold my siddur
Against my chest,
Pressed to my heart
Like a dressing on a wound.
They speak to each other
In a language as sweet as love,
As simple as hope,
As ancient as G-d’s spirit
Hovering over the endless deep,
Calling through the darkness
To summon the light,
To receive the soul of prayer,
Yearning, ever yearning,
To praise and sanctify
G-d’s Holy Name.

© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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

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.

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

Photo Source: Aish

Scroll

Posted on: June 20th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

A prayer/poem for divine inspiration.

Scroll
What do you think
Is written
On the other side of the parchment?
A future not yet revealed?
A secret forgotten past?
Ancient prayers waiting to be discovered?

Maybe it’s a giant canvass,
Yearning for charcoals and oils,
Yearning for colored pencils and finger paints,
Yearning for hearts and hands,
To call forth the messages
We’re still unable to hear.

© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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

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.

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

Family Caregivers

Posted on: August 16th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

This is a prayer to be said on behalf of those family members and friends who have taken on the task of daily caregiving of another member of the family or a close friend, devoting their days and energy to the care of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and other dear ones.

Family Caregivers
G-d of health and healing,
Bless our family and friends
Who have taken on the sacred task
Of giving care and comfort
To their loved ones,
Committing their time, energy, and physical labor
To the well-being of dear ones
At a time of immeasurable need.
Grant them wisdom and skill,
Compassion and dedication,
Energy and endurance,
As time passes and tasks increase.
Remind them to care for themselves,
And to nourish their own bodies and souls,
So easily forgotten in this time of need.

Source and Shelter,
Rock of life,
Bless all who dedicate themselves
To the care of others,
And bring lasting health and healing
To all in need.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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

Postscript: Thanks to my friend Joel Africk for the idea for this prayer.

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: CDC

Music for Pervasive Peace: A New Liturgical Song for Rosh HaShanah

Posted on: August 10th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

This Rosh HaShanah — as the specter of another socially-distant holiday looms — let’s renew our dreams of peace, a pervasive peace encompassing wholeness, health, renewal, vitality, and resilience. To share that prayer on Erev Rosh HaShanah 5782, Rebecca Schwartz, cantorial soloist at Congregation Kol Ami, Elkins Park, PA, created a new musical setting for my short blessing “Pervasive Peace.” Watch her singing the blessing on this video, or click the triangle in the bar below for audio only. Follow along with the lyrics, below. The sheet music is available on oysongs here. Combining this music with “Wildly Unimaginable Blessings,” text also below, creates a beautiful sung and spoken two-prayer liturgy for the New Year. To read more about the thinking behind “Pervasive Peace,” read this article in RavBlog.

Pervasive Peace
May it be Your will, G-d of our fathers and mothers,
That the year ahead brings a pervasive and complete peace
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
Beyond all the dreams of humanity.

,יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ, אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ וְאִמּוֹתֵֽינוּ
שֶׁהַשָּׁנָה הַבָּאָה תָּבִיא שָׁלוֹם מֻחְלָט וְשָׁלֵם
,עַל כָּל־יוֹשְׁבֵי תֵבֵל
.מֵעֵֽבֶר לְכָל־חֲלֹמוֹת־הָאֱנוֹשׁוּת

Y’hi ratzon mil’fanecha, Elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu,
Shehashanah haba-ah tavi shalom muchlat v’shaleim
Al kol yosh’vei teiveil,
Mei-ever l’chol chalomot ha-enoshut.

Wildly Unimaginable Blessings
Let us dream
Wildly unimaginable blessings…
Blessings so unexpected,
Blessings so beyond our hopes for this world,
Blessings so unbelievable in this era,
That their very existence
Uplifts our vision of creation,
Our relationships to each other,
And our yearning for life itself.

Let us dream
Wildly unimaginable blessings…
A complete healing of mind, body, and spirit,
A complete healing for all,
The end of suffering and strife,
The end of plague and disease,
When kindness flows from the river of love,
When goodness flows from the river of grace,
Awakened in the spirit of all beings,
When G-d’s light,
Radiating holiness,
Is seen by everyone.

Let us pray —
With all our hearts —
For wildly unimaginable blessings,
So that G-d will hear the call
To open the gates of the Garden,
Seeing that we haven’t waited,
That we’ve already begun to repair the world,
In testimony to our faith in life,
Our faith in each other,
And our faith in the Holy One,
Blessed be G-d’s Name.

“Pervasive Peace” lyrics © 2019 by Alden Solovy, music © 2021 by Schwalkin Music (ASCAP).
“Wildly Unimaginable Blessings” © 2020 by Alden Solovy.

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

Postscript: Thanks to Rav Aytan Kadden for his help with the Hebrew. The sheet music is available on oysongs here. Find more of Rebecca’s music at www.rebeccasongs.com.

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: European Southern Observatory

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.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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

The Language of Your Soul

Posted on: May 5th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

A short meditation inspired by Rav Abraham Isaac Ha-Cohen Kook‘s idea of the constant prayer of the soul, that our souls have a deep longing to be in constant prayer and that we can cultivate that yearning.

The Language of Your Soul
The language of your soul,
That fountain of blessings inside you,
Pouring forth in a river of love,
From you to G-d,
And G-d to you,
Sustaining life and creation itself,
Always seeking to sing goodness,
And beauty,
And truth,
Can only be summoned
From the secret chambers
Of your heart.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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

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: iBelieve.com

One You

Posted on: April 25th, 2021 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on the vastness of creation and the uniqueness of each and every soul. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

One You
Love
Is a bridge
To the moment of creation,
The moment
When G-d’s heart
Could no longer be contained,
When light exploded
In a big bang,
Creating billions and
Billions of stars,
Millions and
Millions of galaxies,
Planets, moons,
Solar systems without number,
And one,
Only one,
You.

Yes,
You are
The impossible
Yet here-you-are
Miracle of love.
The impossible
Yet here-you-are
Miracle of life.
The impossible
Yet here-you-are
Miracle of G-d’s
Loving hand
And outstretched arm,
Created in the same instant that
Holiness, mercy, beauty, goodness,
Righteousness and grace,
Began to expand
Throughout the universe.

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

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.”

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

Photo Source: NASA

“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