Posts Tagged ‘miracles’

 

Al Hanism, 5784

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

On Hanukkah it’s traditional to add Al Hanisim, “About the Miracles,” to the Amidah and the Grace after Meals. How do we praise God’s miracles in the aftermath of the shock assault, kidnappings, and wanton violence on Shabbat Simchat Torah? How do we say this prayer in the face of war? Here’s an adaptation of Al Hanisim for this difficult year. The adaptation of the traditional Hebrew — a collaboration with Avital Ordan — reflects the idea that some miracles happen in secret, known as nissim nistarim.

על הניסים, תשפ”ד

For all the miracles,
Seen and unseen,
Done and yet to be done,
We thank You.

God of miracles,
Ancient and new,
We do not wait for signs and wonders,
Defending our people and our land,
Fighting to free the hostages.

Perhaps the acts of survival
And moments of heroism
On that Black Shabbat,
Hint at God’s guiding hand
Hidden from our sight.
Let us pray for unseen miracles.

Perhaps the hostages
So far released,
Remind us of
God’s power to redeem.
Let us pray for miracles
For all to see
As in the days of old.

Woe to our hearts
That these miracles are incomplete,
That our soldiers still fight and die,
Kill and are killed,
For this land and this nation.

Woe to our hearts
That these miracles are unfinished,
That hostages still languish in captivity
As the pawns and trophies of heartless terror.

God of miracles,
Ancient and new,
We do not wait for signs and wonders.
We take this as our sacred task,
Defending our nation.
Still we yearn for Your mighty hand
And outstretched arm
To bring us blessings
Hidden or revealed.

על הניסים ועל הפרקן ועל הגבורות ועל התשועות ועל המלחמות הנסתרות והנגלות, שנעשו, שנעשות, שיעשו איתנו בכל עת ועת, בימים האלה ובזמן הזה

We thank You for the miracles, the redemption, the heroics, the blessings, and the victories hidden and revealed, that You did, are doing, and will do for us in every age, in these days and at this season.

Al hanissim v’al hapurkan v’al hagvurot v’al hat’shuot v’al hamilhamot hanistarot v’haniglot she’nasu, she’naasot she’yi’asu eitanu b’col et va’et bayamim ha’eleh u’vazman hazeh.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: I learned about nissim nistarim at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies learning with Rabbi Michael Hattin. A version of Al Hanisim is also added to the Amidah and the Grace after Meals during Purim. Thanks to my friends Haim Watzman and Miriam Fine for their comments on earlier drafts.

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: Alden Solovy

Inside the (Hanukkah) Light

Posted on: December 18th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

5235427938_eee362646b_zThis meditation on light pluses with hope, carrying echoes of Hanukkah. It’s about seeing, feeling, and loving the light shining around us, and our yearning to be a source of light and hope for the world. I wrote it in 2012 on my Aliyah flight. My friend Cantor Brad Hyman set as a song in 2017. In 2021, CCAR Press published it my third solo volume with them, This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer. Here’s an article by Cantor Hyman on his inspiration for the music on Reform Judaism.org. I’m reposting this for Hanukkah 2022/5783.

Inside the Light
A rainbow shines
Inside the light.
If you could be the dew drop
You would always see it.

Stillness waits
Inside the light.
If you could be the sky
You would always feel it.

The sunrise dawns
Inside the light.
If you could be the horizon
You would always find it.

Freedom flows
Inside the light.
If you could be the wind
You would always ride it.

Beauty rises
Inside the light.
If you could be the sparrow
You would always reach it.

Mystery pulses
Inside the light.
If you could be the wonder
You would always know it.

Majesty reigns
Inside the light.
If you could be the wisdom
You would always hear it.

Faith rests
Inside the light.
If you could be the eagle
You would always hold it.

Your soul glows
Inside the light.
If you could be yourself
You would never leave it.

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

Postscript: Here’s another link to Cantor Hyman’s  musical setting. My other Hanukkah prayers include: “Lamps Within” and “The Season of Dedication.”

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

Coaxing Miracles

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

For the last night of Hanukkah, a meditation on small miracles.

Coaxing Miracles
Miracles
Can start out as
Tiny things.
Specks of G-d’s love
Floating all around us,
Shimmering at a frequency
Just beyond human sight.
But when –
Like a dew drop catching sunshine –
A miracle enters light from heaven,
It shines briefly like a firefly
To remind you
That you’re not alone.
Follow the light,
For the specks of the divine
Can be coaxed into your heart,
Where they will shine
Brilliant, radiant, and forever.

© 2021 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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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.

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

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.
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Photo Source: NASA

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

The Season of Dedication

Posted on: December 1st, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Hanukkah Menorah 1When the Maccabees finally won back the Temple for the Jewish people, it took eight days to clean and consecrate the holy space. Chanukah derives from the Hebrew verb “חנך‎”, meaning “to dedicate.” The Temple was rededicated to the service of Adonai the G-d of Israel. So we take this as a season of dedication for our own lives to the service of Torah and mitzvot, for the healing of the world. This prayer appears in my CCAR Press book, “This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.”

The Season of Dedication
This is the season of dedication:
Of dedicating our moments and our lives,
Of dedicating our hope and our strength,
To live by G-d’s Word.

This is the season of cleansing:
Of cleansing our hearts and our sanctuaries,
Of cleansing our deeds and our ways,
Creating sacred time and space.

This is the season of service:
Of service to our neighbors and community,
Of service to K’lal Yisrael,
In the name of justice and peace.

This is the season of dedication:
Of dedication to strength and honor,
Righteousness and duty.
This is the season that calls forth miracles,
That summons the light of holiness,
The season the reminds us to rebuild and restore
Our commitment to mitzvot and avodah
In G-d’s holy name.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: This prayer is part of a series of prayers tied to various holidays and seasonal themes in the Jewish calendar, including: “The Season of Counting,” “The Season of Building” and “The Season of Healing.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and my newest book, “This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings.” 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: Jerusalem Baskets

You without Peace

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Here’s a meditation for those who yearn to find G-d’s blessings, but cannot let them in. I’m reminded of a comment at Limmud Vancouver 2018: “We fear that we won’t find G-d. But what we fear, even more, is that we will.”

You without Peace
Oh you without peace,
Who yearn for G-d’s blessings
But push them away,
Feeling their presence
And blocking their arrival,
Hoping for grace
Without gracing the hope
Of holy communion,
Of blessings and wonder,
Know this:

Your heart is beautiful.
Your love is pure.
Your longing sings with truth.
Your journey is righteous,
Your path is lonely,
And G-d yearns for you
To keep searching
For the holiness and light
That surround us all.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

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: NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) Collection

The Pulse of Holiness

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Yesterday, in the early morning, two ideas drifted in and out of my consciousness as I drifted in and out of sleep. Love, and holiness. After waking, this is what I wrote.

The Pulse of Holiness
The love
That echoes love
That whispers love
That breathes love
In the quiet stillness of morning
Is leading you toward light,
Toward understanding,
Toward G-d.
For love is the pulse of holiness,
The beating heart of radiance and wonder,
The rhythm of creation,
The energy of blessing,
The starburst of the divine.

The love
That echoes in your heart
Resonates eternal
With all beings,
With all souls,
With the wisdom of the ages,
And the wisdom of the earth.

Yes, love is the pulse of holiness.
Let it flow through you.
Let your countenance shine majesty
From the core of your being
To the edge of the universe,
To fill the world
With splendor.

© 2017 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also, “Evidence of Holiness.

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: NASA

Israel: A Meditation, Revisited

Posted on: October 2nd, 2016 by Alden No Comments

SONY DSCA new year approaches. It will be here by nightfall. We’ve just buried the last of Israel’s founding fathers and the local news is hinting about the next war with Gaza. Let the year bring only blessings on this land, leaders with vision and an end to war. This is my anthem to Israel, to the land, to our history and to our people. “Israel, You are my people…” Our collective heartbeat begins in this land. So, this anthem is also a declaration of faith, which is why it’s included in Antia Diamant’s newly-released revised edition of Choosing a Jewish Life, her popular conversion handbook. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Israel: A Meditation
Israel,
You are my people.
You are my heart and you are my hope.
We waited together at the mountain
When G-d revealed the Holy Word.
We wandered together through the desert
On the path to sacred soil.
We watched the sea part.
We heard the heavens roar.
We stood at the doorway to freedom,
At the border of a Promised Land.

Israel,
You are my destiny.
You are my joy and you are my truth.
We were victorious at Jericho,
Unyielding at Masada.
We defied empires
For Torah.
We defied kings
For justice and freedom.
We’ve traveled the earth,
Wandered the millennia,
Refugees of the ages,
Homeless and hopeful,
Waiting to return
To native ground.

Israel,
You are my brother in history,
My sister in fortune,
The mother of my courage,
The father of my heart,
The child of my longing,
And the light of generations.
To you I pledge my right arm
And my voice in song.
To you I pledge my soul.
To you I pledge my spirit.

Israel,
You are my nation.
You are my inheritance.
You are my home.

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

Postscript: Thank you to Anita Diamant for including this meditation in Choosing a Jewish Life: A Handbook for People Converting to Judaism and for Their Family and Friends. This meditation first appeared on this site on July 7, 2010. Click here for more prayers and meditations about Israel.

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

Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

Breathe

Posted on: July 12th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Sky and LakeThis prayer is a simple reminder to breathe and the gifts that coming from simply being. It includes a space to include a name, yours or someone else’s, so that you can use it as reminder to yourself or as a hope for someone else. Six other pieces of mine include the instruction to breathe. Three of my favorites are: “Sing Praises,” “We Are Music” and “Invitations.”

Breathe
Listen, dear __________ (your name or another name),
Remember to breathe,
Remember to fill your chest
With the sweet taste of living,
To fill your heart
With a gentle gift of peace.
The breath of God
Surrounds you.
Let it flow through you.
The pulse of the universe
Beats with you.
Let it enliven you.
Invite your inhale,
The willingness of this moment.
Release your exhale,
And surrender to being.
Fill your lungs.
Feel them.
Feed them.
Heal them.
And you will know,
The majesty of now,
And the mystery
Of forever.

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

Postscript: My three other prayers with the instruction to breathe are: “Choosing to Heal,” “Let Your Heart Stir” and “Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem.”

Tweetable! Here’a suggested tweet. Please tweet it (with link): “…fill your heart with a gentle gift of peace. The breath of God surrounds you…” https://tobendlight.com/?p=13239

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 Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library

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