Posts Tagged ‘prayer for the people of Israel’

 

Shelach Lecha 5775: Gathering, A Dream of Reunion

Posted on: June 9th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

tzitzit old shoe womanThis week’s Torah portion includes the commandment to wear tzitzit — fringes — on the corners of our garments (Numbers 15:37-41), which we fulfill with the tallit. The ritual use of the tallit includes gathering the four tzitzit just before saying the Shema, upon reciting this line: Bring us in peace from the four corners of the earth and lead us upright to our land… The act reflects our historic longing for reunification in our homeland. This meditation has dreamlike quality, beginning with the yearning for Israel that’s in each of us. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Gathering: A Dream of Reunion
והביאנו לשלום מארבע כנפות הארץ
ותוליכנו קוממיות לארצנו

Bring us in peace from the four corners of the earth
And lead us upright to our land…

First Tzitzit – Gathering fringes
The first knotted string in hand,
I imagine the journey home,
Home to the land of our mothers and fathers,
Holy and full of promise, labor and love,
To build a life of wonder and awe.
This is me.
This is my pilgrimage to sacred soil.
This is my dream of holiness and redemption.
I am the first tzitzit.
I am returning home.

Second Tzitzit – Gathering hearts
The second fraying string in hand,
I imagine my children, my family, my household
Returning with me to our homeland
To build and to renew our ancestral blood.
This is my family.
This is our journey to hallowed ground.
This is our wholeness and rebirth.
We are the second tzitzit.
We are returning home.

Third Tzitzit – Gathering moments
The third worn string in hand,
I imagine you, my community, my kahal,
Returning together to our Source and Shelter,
To consecrate the ancient land and our holy vow.
This is my village.
This is our journey to mystery and majesty.
This is our bond of ages.
We are the third tzitzit.
We are returning home.

Final Tzitzit – Gathering millennia
The final woolen string in hand,
I imagine all of us, from all corners of the Earth,
Returning with songs of praise and rejoicing,
To claim our place among the nation of Israel.
This is my people.
This is our journey of destiny.
This is our covenant.
We are the final tzitzit, separate no more.
We are returning home.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This remains my deepest yearning for all of the people Israel. We’ll each arrive when the time is right. Thanks to Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder for challenging me to think about how this meditation might be heard by those who are not considering aliyah. Click here for more prayers and meditations about Israel. Gathering: A Dream of Reunion first appeared on this site on December 30, 2011.

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

Photo Source: Old Shoe Woman (On Flickr)

They Were Boys: A Yizkor Prayer

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Bring Back Our BoysThe wait, over. The worst, confirmed. Gil-ad Shaar z”l, Naftali Frenkel z”l and Eyal Yifrach z”l — kidnapped by Hamas terrorists — were found dead. Baruch Dayan Emet. May their families find comfort among the mourners of Zion and Israel. Tonight we mourn together. And we will for days and weeks to come.

They Were Boys: A Yizkor Prayer
They were boys.
Stolen from their families,
Stolen from their people,
Stolen from life itself.
Boys.

G-d of Israel,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach
Whose lives were cut off by violence
In acts of witless anger and hatred.
Guiltless. Blameless. Boys.

Yikum purkan min shemiaya…
May deliverance arise from heaven
Blessing their families with consolation and strength,
Even as they’ve shown us their fortitude and their love.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Faith to mourn,
Willingness to heal,
And devotion to each other.
Bless their classmates, teachers and friends
With comfort and relief.
Bless the whole house of Israel
As we mourn together.

Rock of Jacob,
In this hour of grief,
Remember Gil-ad, Naftali and Eyal .
They were boys.
May their memories provide solace and courage
To our nation and our people.
Let them find peace in the cradle of heaven
And a home in the world to come.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Expect a military response. Here’s a prayer “For the  Soldiers of the IDF,” a solidarity prayer called “Israel: A Meditation” and a link to more prayers for Israel.

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

Photo Source: Times of Israel, Courtesy

Bring Back Our Boys: A Prayer

Posted on: June 14th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Bring Back Our BoysAs the search continues for three missing Israeli teens, fear turns to prayer in Israel and among people of conscience around the world. On Saturday, Israel confirmed that Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The three were taken while trying to hitch a ride home from high school.

Bring Back Our Boys: A Prayer
G-d of the prisoner,
G-d of the captive,
The voice of anguish echoes across the land.
Our sons,
Kidnapped, hijacked,
Torn from their lives and dreams,
Are held captive by violence and hatred
By those who would take our land
And destroy our people.

Guardian of Israel,
Bless those who have dedicated themselves to returning
Our sons to safety and shelter.
Grant them skill and wisdom
In this hour of need.
Give them the tools they need in the days ahead.
Bless their work.
Let success be close at hand.

This dismay is almost too much to bear.
Return Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach
To the cradle of their parents’ arms,
And the refuge of their homes,
Speedily, in life and in health.
Bless their families with endurance and faith
That they will soon be reunited in the fullness of joy.
Bless our boys, in their captivity,
With hope and courage.
Grant them the strength and fortitude
To face, chas v’shalom, any shames or tyrannies forced upon them.

Rock of Israel,
Hasten their release.
Grant them lives of Torah and parnasa,
Rich with health and happiness,
Joy and peace.
Let rescue be near.

.ברוך אתה ה אלוקינו מלך העולם מתיר אסורים
Blessed are you, Adonai our God,
Sovereign of universe,
Who releases the captive.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here’s a link to more prayers for Israel. This prayer is an adaptation of “Against Human Trafficking” including some language from “For the Missing.” The later will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness. I recently used the same two prayers to create “Bring Back Our Girls: A Prayer.” Follow developments on the Times of Israel and the Bring Back Our Boys Facebook page.

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.

Photo Source: Times of Israel, Courtesy

שיר בלב שלי

Posted on: July 26th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

HatikvahThis piece is as much a song as a prayer, written on a train from Acco to Tel Aviv in June, 2011, a trip that ultimately led to my aliyah one year later. Readers will recognize the allusion to the Israeli National Anthem, Hatikvah, ‘The Hope.’ Here’s a link to the original post, including audio of the prayer in English.

ADDENDUM, September 28, 2016: This song comes to mind as I think about the life and legacy of Shimon Peres z”l, who passed away this morning.

Postscript: This is my first attempt at a translation of one of my pieces into Hebrew. It’s not meant as a literary translation. This was an exercise that I completed at Ulpan-Or, a wonderful program of Hebrew study with amazing staff and resources. The idea came from Maytal Ganor. I worked on this translation with Yaakov Tayeb. I suspect that I’ll take another look at this translation at some point. If you have any suggestions, feel free to email them to me. Or, if you want to read some other lovely pieces about Israel, here are two links: “Israel: A Meditation” and “Jerusalem: A Meditation.”

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.

Photo Source: Jewish Agency for Israel

Gathering: A Dream of Reunion

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

והביאנו לשלום מארבע כנפות הארץ, ותוליכנו קוממיות לארצנו

Bring us in peace from the four corners of the earth and lead us upright to our land…

tzitzit old shoe womanOn reciting this line, worshipers traditionally gather the four tzitzit that are draped around them on their talitot. The act reflects the historic longing for reunification as a people in our homeland. After my visit to Israel in June 2011, I began to see myself as the first tzitzit, thinking of my own return to the land as I held that first fringe. Then, each fringe took on a new meaning. The result is a meditation with a dreamlike quality, beginning with the yearning for Israel that’s in each of us. Here’s my dream, one tzitzit at a time. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Gathering: A Dream of Reunion
והביאנו לשלום מארבע כנפות הארץ
ותוליכנו קוממיות לארצנו

Bring us in peace from the four corners of the earth
And lead us upright to our land…

First Tzitzit – Gathering fringes
The first knotted string in hand,
I imagine the journey home,
Home to the land of our mothers and fathers,
Holy and full of promise, labor and love,
To build a life of wonder and awe.
This is me.
This is my pilgrimage to sacred soil.
This is my dream of holiness and redemption.
I am the first tzitzit.
I am returning home.

Second Tzitzit – Gathering hearts
The second fraying string in hand,
I imagine my children, my family, my household
Returning with me to our homeland
To build and to renew our ancestral blood.
This is my family.
This is our journey to hallowed ground.
This is our wholeness and rebirth.
We are the second tzitzit.
We are returning home.

Third Tzitzit – Gathering moments
The third worn string in hand,
I imagine you, my community, my kahal,
Returning together to our Source and Shelter,
To consecrate the ancient land and our holy vow.
This is my village.
This is our journey to mystery and majesty.
This is our bond of ages.
We are the third tzitzit.
We are returning home.

Final Tzitzit – Gathering millennia
The final woolen string in hand,
I imagine all of us, from all corners of the Earth,
Returning with songs of praise and rejoicing,
To claim our place among the nation of Israel.
This is my people.
This is our journey of destiny.
This is our covenant.
We are the final tzitzit, separate no more.
We are returning home.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: I have since settled in Jerusalem. My children do not see themselves following. Still, this remains my wildest hope for them. And it will remain my deepest yearning for all of the people Israel. We will each arrive when the time is right. Click here for more prayers and meditations about Israel. Thanks to Rabbi Ruth Abusch-Magder for challenging me to think about how this meditation might be heard by those who are not on a path to aliyah.

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

Photo Source: Old Shoe Woman (On Flickr)

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