Posts Tagged ‘praying through doubt’

 

The Dark Corners

Posted on: February 15th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Creation_of_LightFear, sorrow and doubt cannot defeat the light of holiness, unless you let them. This prayer acknowledges difficult moments and emotions, offering the classic Jewish response to facing them with strength and dignity: Torah, tefilah (prayer) and mitzvot (acts of righteousness).

This piece is part of “Three Prayers,” in which three of my prayers are set to original choreography by Lin Batsheva Kahn of the Tikvah Company of Artists and original cello music by Desiree Miller of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. “Three Prayers” premieres in Jerusalem in June 2014 as part of an evening of dance and poetry by Miriam Engel’s Angela Dance Company. To listen to the music performed by Desiree, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

The Dark Corners
Fear lurks
In the dark corners of my heart,
Waiting to convince me
That love will fail.

Sorrow lurks
In the dark corners of my soul,
Waiting to convince me
That faith will fail.

Doubt lurks
In the dark corners of my mind,
Waiting to convince me
That wisdom will fail.

Rock of Jacob,
Teach me to shine
The light of mitzvot
Into the dark corners of my mind,
So that I face my fears with courage
Redeeming them with awe and wonder.

Song of Miriam,
Teach me to shine
The light of tefilot
Into the dark corners of my soul,
So that I face my sorrows with strength
Redeeming them with righteousness.

G-d of Old,
Teach me to shine
The light of Torah
Into the dark corners of my mind,
So that I face my doubts with honor
Redeeming them with holiness.

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

Postscript: This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, Prayers from the Heart of Darkness.Consider using this as a slichot meditation during the month of Elul. Here are links to prayers about specific challenging emotions, including “Doubt,” “Fear,” “Anger” and “Shame.”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Shame

Posted on: October 18th, 2010 by tobendlight No Comments

Can shame be a blessing? Can shame be blessed? This prayer is part of a series of prayers about difficult emotions, including “Doubt,” “Fear” and “Anger.” Listen while you read by clicking on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

Shame
G-d of my heart,
Source of my spirit,
I’ve been swallowed by a dirge
And elevated by songs of celebration.
I’ve judged myself harshly
And given myself grace.
I’ve climbed to see the glorious sunset
And have laid low, shivering against a pounding storm.

I live between moments of joyous surrender
And times of lonely isolation,
Between calm and storm,
Between shame and wonder.

Shame is a mirror.
Shame is a doorway.
Shame is a guide.

Holy One,
G-d of mysteries beyond my understanding,
Help me to see my shames as teachers and guides,
As reminders of my sacred humanity,
Leading me to a vision of my best self.
Let shame be the gateway to truth
So that I may release it without fear,
In awe and righteousness.

Blessed are You, Redeemer of the lost,
Who created shame so that we might discover the path to wisdom.

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

Postscript: Here are prayers about “Doubt,” “Fear” and “Anger.”

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.

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