Posts Tagged ‘personal affirmation’


One You

Posted on: April 25th, 2021 by Alden

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
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 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.”

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Photo Source: NASA

Balak: Your Dwelling Place

Posted on: June 28th, 2015 by Alden

Ma Tovu is one of my favorite prayers. The opening line comes from this week’s Torah portion, Balak. Balak hires Bil’am to curse the people Israel, but instead he blesses them. The blessing includes this line, which opens Ma Tovu: “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwellings, O Israel!” [Numbers 24:5] According to rabbinic interpretation, the ‘tents’ are ‘tents of Torah’ and the ‘dwellings’ are synagogues. This prayer turns the metaphor once again, stating that our lives can be the dwelling place of G-d’s glory when we do the work of love and charity. Two lines from Ma Tovu, traditionally said upon entering a synagogue, frame the second stanza.

Your Dwelling Place
When I pray,
When I quiet my mind and open my heart,
I become a priest/priestess
In the house of God.

I love Your house,
Your habitation,
The dwelling place of Your glory.
Let me serve You with my hands,
With the toil of healing the world,
With the labor of kindness and compassion.
And I will become Your abode
Of love and charity,
Of thanksgiving and peace,
Doing Your will in joy,
Rejoicing in Your work.
How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,
Thy dwellings, O Israel!

Let my life become a temple,
A sanctuary of praise and service,
And You will dwell
In me.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: Some of my other prayers that borrow quotes directly from the liturgy include: “Come, Beloved,” “Sephardi Quarter Note,” “Gathering: A Dream of Reunion” and “Affirmation of Faith.”

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Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem

Posted on: April 28th, 2013 by tobendlight

IMG_0678This is a private meditation. That is, I don’t expect that it speaks fully to or for anyone but me. I wrote it several months ago, but it didn’t feel complete. The final thoughts came to me this morning during my run. I added three lines and rearranged the paragraphs. Some of these rules only apply to my life in Jerusalem; some only to my life in Israel. Perhaps this will change as the depth of my experience here grows.

So, if it’s private, why am I posting it? To encourage you to write your own “Rules for Being You” meditation. I’m glad that I finished this piece before Yom Yerushalayim, which is May 8, 2013.

Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem
Smile at everyone.
Or, at least, nod in their direction.
Some may even smile back.
Don’t take offense if someone
Simply looks away,
Or never makes eye contact.
They aren’t used to it.

Speak your truth,
But only when it adds love
Or a blessing to the world.
Live your truth always.
No matter what.

Before Shabbat,
Put a loaf of bread where
Someone needy can find it.
Say a quick prayer for abundance,
Yours and theirs.

Look at everyone as if you can see
Directly into their hearts.
Their hearts hold joy and grief and love.
Like yours.

See the best in everyone,
Even when someone chooses to show you their worst.

Smile at women with babies. And men.
Not for them, for you.
You are seeing the future,
And it is beautiful.

Say Shabbat Shalom to everyone,
Even men without kippot.
We all deserve rest and peace.

There is holiness in the air.
Malchut and Tiferet
Are within your grasp.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: If you write your own “Rules” meditation, please take a moment to share on this page what it was like to write it. See also: “Jerusalem: A Meditation” and other prayers about Israel.

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Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

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