Posts Tagged ‘men’

 

Our Patriarch: Jerold S. Solovy z”l

Posted on: January 20th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

Here’s a prayer reposted in memory of my uncle Jerry Solovy z”l. The Chicago ADL has renamed the Jerold S. Solovy Freedom Award in his memory. The Chicago Sun-Times said: “It’s hard to imagine a Chicago lawyer who outranks Jerold S. Solovy in terms of reputation, influence and largesse.”

For the Patriarch
For our patriarch,
A song of dignity and honor.

Guardian of mitzvot,
Keeper of truths,
Hand of protection and peace,
We are blessed with your humor and compassion,
Your zest for life
And your zeal for family.
You remind us to open our lives to G-d’s majesty and mystery
G-d’s justice and mercy.
You remind us to seek radiance and splendor,
Awe for creation and compassion for each other,
And choose joy over grief,
Laughter over tears.

G-d of fatherly patience and strength,
Bless our family with love
And our patriarch with vision, endurance and hope.
May his devotion inspire us to righteousness and charity,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with abundance
And our days with vigor,
So that we bring majesty and mystery to our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our fathers,
Who provides just and righteous men
In every generation.

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

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Postscript: Here are links to two mourner’s prayers: “For Bereaved Children,” which I wrote for my daughters when Ami z”l passed away, and “For the Bereaved.” “For the Patriarch” is part of a series including: “For the Matriarch,” “For Our Brothers,” “For Our Sisters” and “For the Family Historian.”

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: Alden Solovy Family Photo

We Share the Same Pain

Posted on: November 9th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This is an invitation, an invitation to men to bond as equals, as brothers, as friends, sharing our deepest pain and our deepest fear. It’s posted today to honor the men of the November 2010 New Warrior Training Adventure held by Chicago Community of The ManKind Project at Camp Ronora, Mich.

Please listen along as you read. (Click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.)

We Share the Same Pain
Brother,
You do not know me…
And you know me.
I do not know you…
And I know you.
We have travelled different roads,
But they are paths across the same landscape,
Trails across the same terrain.
Joy and anger,
Pride and shame,
Fear and love.
Our fathers and their fathers
Faced the journey of the heart alone,
Without the guidance of their brothers,
Without the wisdom of the generations.

Brother, we share the same legacy and
We share the same pain.
That is all I need to know
To love you today
For who you are and for who you can become.
Hurt, but not broken.
Still able to find the deep root of majesty within,
The gift of passion and power,
Radiance and joy,
Directed toward a life of service.
You know me.
I know you.
Let us share the challenge,
The journey,
And the victory.

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

Postscript: Check out these prayers for men: “My Work Remains,” “For the Lost,” “We Share the Same Pain”and “My Heart Knows What It Needs,” as well as a list of other prayers for and about men.

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook

My Battle

Posted on: October 12th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This meditation out came of my work as part of the ManKind Project. It’s a prayer/poem for men about reclaiming the sacred masculine, that deep well of strength, pride and energy in all men that our culture teaches us to suppress. The third stanza suggests naming your Higher Power. Several suggestions appear in [brackets]. Feel free to choose one of the suggestions, use a name for G-d that’s not shown here or to skip the line entirely.

Please listen along as you read. (Click on the triangle in the slider bar below. The entire text follows.)

 

My Battle
Today I go into battle.
It’s the battle for my heart.
Who am I before G-d?
Who am I before humanity?
Who’s that man in the mirror?
He’s not an opponent,
He’s my challenger.
He’s not a judge,
He’s my guide.
He’s not a boy,
He’s a man.

Today I go into battle,
It’s the battle for my soul.
What is my life?
What is my purpose?
Who will I be, today?
What choices will I make?
To hide from fear or face it?
To bury my shame or embrace it?
To deny my anger or use its power to build and create?
To deny my grief or use its power to heal and bless?

Today I go into battle,
I do not go alone.
I take my brothers as my companions,
The patriarchs as my guides,
And the [Fear of Isaac][the Rock of Jacob]
[the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob]
[Father Sky][the Ancient Spirit]
As my Source and Shelter.
I take honesty as my sword
And truth as my shield.
I take love as my creed
And integrity as my code.
Mystery and wonder will open the gates of tomorrow.

Today I go into battle.
It’s the battle for my life.

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

Postscript: Check out these prayers for men: “My Work Remains,” “For the Lost” and “My Heart Knows What It Needs,” as well as a list of other prayers for and about men.

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column.

For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook.

For Our Brothers

Posted on: October 2nd, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

795px-Duke_Kahanamoku_sitting_with_brother_Sam_KahanamokuThis is a prayer to honor our brothers. It’s part of a series of prayers about rejoicing in family relationships, including: “For Our Sisters,” “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch” and a favorite of mine called “For the Family Historian.” This will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and HealingTo listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

For Our Brothers
For our brothers,
A chant of honor.

Brother, to have you is a blessing,
A gift of endurance and strength.
Your courage is my shield,
Your humor, my cloak,
Your humility, my guide,
Your vigor, my hope.
Your victories witness your confidence,
Your devotion
And your zeal.

You are my brother by birth
My brother by choice,
My brother through pain
And my brother in thanksgiving.

G-d of brotherly dignity and grace,
Bless our family with gratitude
And our brothers with enthusiasm, vitality and wonder.
May their devotion inspire us to justice and mercy.
Bless our lives with energy and prosperity
So that we become a source of healing in our lives
And in the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of brothers,
Who delights in brotherly love.

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

Postscript: See also: For Our Sisters,” “For the Patriarch,” “For the Matriarch” and “For the Family Historian.” Note that this prayer is written to be used by both men and women to honor their brothers. As such, it’s not part of the body of prayers that I’ve written specifically for men.

If you use this prayer, please click take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

My Heart Knows What it Needs

Posted on: August 22nd, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

This is another in my series of prayers and meditations for men. With a single tweak it could become gender neutral. That’s not my intent. I speak here to other men about my needs as a man, inviting them to take the risk that our society suppresses, opening our hearts to each other by expressing deep, abiding, brotherly love.

My Heart Knows What it Needs
A quiet place.
A calm, gentle space.
Stillness.
Peace.
My heart knows
What it needs.
To speak freely,
Honestly,
Openly to you my brother.
And to itself.
Safety. Acceptance. Strength.
A moment,
Just a moment
To loose the chains of
Anger and fear,
Guilt and shame,
And open the gates
Of love and surrender.

Come,
Adventure into the night of a thousand stars,
The day of radiant light.
They shine from heart to heart,
Beyond our sight,
Beyond the length of our days.

My heart knows what it needs.
To be heard.
Welcomed.
Accepted.
Protected.
To be given its voice,
And to return its power.
To be nourished.
To be healed.
To be whole.

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

Postscript: Check out these prayers for men: “My Work Remains” and “For the Lost,” as well as a list of other prayers for and about men.

Please use these prayers. See “Share the Prayer!” in the right hand column. 

For notices of new prayers posted here, please subscribe. To read four to six mini-prayers each week, as well as notices of new prayers posted to the site, please join the To Bend Light fan page on Facebook.

My Work Remains

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

This prayer is profoundly intimate. And it is one of my favorite prayers written for myself and for other men. It came out of my work at the January 2010 New Warrior Training Adventure of the ManKind Project. It is dedicated to all who participated: the new men, the staff, the leaders and everyone who made the weekend possible. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

My Work Remains
I am not done with me.
I am beautiful.
A work of art.
A Divine gift.

My joy is this:
The canvass is not complete,
So many colors and shades,
Tones and hues,
So much bright light and
Deep shadow,
Have not yet risen to the surface.
Now, the paintbrush is mine,
As it always was,
The secret I kept from myself.

How many more
Wonderful secrets
Are inside of me?
Waiting. Ready.
Praying for me to
Paint and paint and paint,
With broad amazing strokes
And fine fancy details.

I am not done with me.
I am beautiful.
Glorious and holy,
Joyous and powerful,
Willing and able.

Brothers of this earth!
Walk with me.
Take my hand,
Feel this power,
Share this prayer.
For you too are beautiful.
A work of art.
A man.

My work remains.

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

Postscript: This piece could become more inclusive by swapping the words ‘brother’ and ‘man’ with ‘sister’ and ‘woman.’ That’s not the intent of this prayer. The intent is to develop, as part of my prayer writing mission, a body of prayers for and about men. Check out these prayers for men: “For the Lost” and “My Heart Knows What It Needs,” as well as a list of other prayers for and about men.

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.

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