Posts Tagged ‘rejoice’

 

Vagabond Prayers: A Covid Ushpizin (of sorts)

Posted on: September 29th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

A Covid-inspired meditation, an Ushpizin (of sorts) for these times when the idea of visitors — and blessings from heaven — may seem distant. Ushpizin is Aramaic for “guests.” It refers to the supernal guests invited to dwell in our sukkot, a ritual that has expanded beyond inviting the traditional ushpizin, the seven patriarchs, prophets, and kings of old. We invite the ushpizot, seven women named by the Talmud as prophets. Some include all of the matriarchs. Others invite inspirational individuals from throughout the ages to visit our sukkot. Here’s a Covid-inspired not-exactly Ushpizin meditation.

Vagabond Prayers
Quiet secrets
Whisper
In the vagabond prayers
Of my heart.
The call of the hills,
The echo in the valley,
Summon these prayers to wander
Unmoved by the glory of heaven,
Unmoved by the promise of eternity.
They ramble, nomadic,
Vagrant blessings of light
Meant only
For earth.

And if you invite them
To dwell briefly
In the tabernacle of your life,
They will linger
For a moment
To whisper
Your name.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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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 by Alden Solovy

Farewell Ushpizot, Ushpizin: Meditation Before Taking Down a Sukkah

Posted on: September 26th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Each year, we construct beautiful dwellings for Sukkot. We intentionally create temporary, holy spaces. We invite the presence of honored guests, the ushpizin, seven prophets, patriarchs and kings of old. We invite the ushpizot, seven women prophets named in the Talmud. Some include the matriarchs. Some invite men and women from history.

This meditation for taking down a sukkah is meant to slow down the process, briefly, so that we disassemble it with intention, inviting the holiness of the space that we created into our lives.

Farewell Ushpizot, Ushpizin
Farewell, Ushpizot.
Farewell, Ushpizin.
You have brought blessing and wisdom
To our sukkah – this tabernacle of joy –
As our honored guests.
Watch over us as we journey on.
Stay with us in our hearts.

Farewell, Ushpizot:
Sarah and Miriam,
Devorah and Hannah,
Avigail, Huldah and Esther.

Farewell, Ushpizin:
Abraham and Isaac,
Jacob and Joseph,
Moses, Aaron and David.

Farewell to all who have graced this space
With your warmth and friendship.

.למען אחי ורעי, אדברה-נא שלום בך
Lma-an achai vrei-ai, adab’rah na shalom bach.
For the sake of my companions and friends,
I will speak of peace. (Ps. 122:8)

Taking down this sukkah,
We take the holiness into ourselves,
Dreaming of a time
When G-d’s sukkat shalom
G-d’s tabernacle of peace –
Will cover the earth.

Taking down this sukkah,
We pledge to carry holiness,
Love and light,
Peace and thanksgiving,
Into our lives and into the world.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript: In using this meditation, adapt the names mentioned to those you invited into your sukkah. The meditation is my response to the unceremonious way that sukkot seem to be disassembled. What happens to the holiness created? Does it disparate? And what about our honored guests? We invite them in, but don’t have the courtesy to say farewell?

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.

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Beauty Dances

Posted on: September 23rd, 2018 by Alden No Comments

sukkotOn Sukkot, joy and beauty arrive. We are called to bring that beauty into the world. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. Here’s a link to more prayers and meditations for Sukkot.

Beauty Dances
Beauty dances
With us
Whenever we build
A tabernacle
To God’s holy Name.

Love sings
With us
Whenever we rejoice
In gladness
On God’s festive days.

Peace cries
With us
Whenever we yearn
In prayer
For God’s holy shelter.

Come,
Let us build this place,
This tabernacle where we praise,
With all of our hearts,
God’s pardon and promise.
Let us build this place,
Where we delight,
With thanksgiving and wonder,
In God’s bounty and gifts.

Come,
Let us build this place,
This sukkat shalom,
This shelter of peace,
Where beauty dances
And love sings.
Where peace cries out:
Build, build,
You Children of Israel,
A tent of holiness,
Strong and true.
Build it in your heart,
In your home,
In your life,
In God’s world.

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

Postscript: This prayer first appeared on this site on Sept. 10, 2011. Find it in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
Share the prayer! Email this to a friend.

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: The Toronto Centre

I Sing

Posted on: January 7th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A prayer about song in honor of the amazing musicians filling the world with new Jewish music. The format — 6x6x3, six lines of six words in three stanzas — is inspired by the Facebook group I created where people share their Six Word Prayers. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

I Sing
I sing because G-d made music,
To lift our hearts and souls
From the hollow depths of darkness
To the highest heights of heaven,
From the cold shadows of desire
To the gates of radiant hope.

I sing because G-d made music,
To mark the moments of wonder,
To sanctify the moments of sorrow,
To soothe, to comfort, to gladden,
To cradle us with infinite harmony,
To rock us with eternal love.

I sing because G-d made music,
To give our souls a trumpet,
To give our wisdom a tambourine,
To give our prayers a voice,
To make our lives a song,
With the instruments of G-d’s blessings.

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

Postscript: Other prayers about song include: “We are Music,” “To Hear Me Sing,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.”

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: ClipArtLook

My Life in Yours

Posted on: October 23rd, 2017 by Alden No Comments

About four years ago I wrote a love song. As I strolled alone along Jerusalem’s old railway walking path, these words simply appeared. Strange. I wasn’t dating anyone, so why would a love song simply appear? Here are two versions of “My Life in Yours,” the first is a song of yearning for love; the second, which follows, is a wedding prayer recited by one partner to the other or said together in unison. The differences in the two are small, but key.

My Life in Yours – A Love Song
When my heart whispers for you,
When my breath calls your name,
When my eyes sparkle with your grace,
I will plant my life in yours.

When my hands yearn for your healing,
When my ears tune to your voice,
When my pulse beats with your footsteps,
I will plant my life in yours.

The sky, the sea, the horizon,
The moments, the days and the years.
The light, the hope, the glory,
The hours, the seasons, the tears.

When your heart whispers for me,
When your breath calls my name,
When your pulse beats with my footsteps,
I will plant my life in yours…
I will plant this life in yours.

My Life in Yours – A Wedding Prayer
My heart whispers for you,
And my breath calls your name,
As my eyes sparkle with your grace,
I plant my life in yours.

My hands yearn for your healing,
My ears tune to your voice,
As my pulse beats with your footsteps,
I plant my life in yours.

The sky, the sea, the horizon,
The moments, the days and the years.
The light, the hope, the glory,
The hours, the seasons, the tears.

Now your heart whispers for me,
And your breath calls my name,
As your pulse beats with my footsteps,
I plant my life in yours.
I plant this life in yours.

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

Postscript: I recorded myself singing the tune to this piece to share here, but I’m too shy — yes, I said shy — to post it. Here are links to my prayers about love: “Let Love,” “The Cut That Heals,” “For New Love,” “To Seek Your Love,” “A Heart of Love” and “A Moment of Love.” Several of these prayers appear in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: Alden Solovy

Meditation before Taking down a Sukkah

Posted on: October 12th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

Before taking down your Sukkah, take a moment to remember that it represents hope and peace. As you take apart the physical structure, draw the meaning into your heart. This meditation appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Meditation before Taking down a Sukkah
Source of blessings,
I’ve/we’ve served meals,
Hosted guests,
Laughed,
And sung with joy,
Here in this temporary structure,
Creating sacred space with hope and love.
This dwelling represents
My/our hope(s) for comfort and shelter,
For wholeness and healing,
A life/lives full of song and dance,
Joy and laughter,
Kindness and goodwill.
As I/we dismantle the physical structure,
I/we strengthen my/our resolve
To build a world of justice and peace,
Taking these aspirations in my/our heart(s).

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

Postscript: Click here to read my other prayers for Sukkot. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

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: WikiMedia Commons

Bind Our Hearts

Posted on: January 8th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

imageMazal Tov to my daughter Nikki Braziel-Solovy and her man Prometheus Kevin Trotsky on their engagement. This wedding day prayer alludes to the sheva brachot – the set of seven prayers said under the chuppah, the wedding canopy. Each of the stanzas contains seven lines. The middle stanza is an interpretation of the sheva brachot, borrowing hints and ideas from each of the seven prayers. This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Bind Our Hearts
Hope and love,
Love and promise,
Promise and commitment,
Commitment and action,
A sacred pairing,
A holy union,
A celebration of life.

Let this cup of sweetness overflow
Into G-d’s glorious handiwork,
As we delight in creation,
Seeing the divine in each other,
Sharing this abundance with the generations
As loving companions and dedicated friends,
Rejoicing together, now and forever.

Bind our hearts with awe,
Bind our hearts with wonder,
Grant us wisdom and understanding,
Patience and forgiveness,
Days of radiance and light,
Nights of comfort and peace,
Lives of blessing, together.

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

Postscript: See also “A Moment of Love,” “For an Open Heart” and “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner.”

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: Family Snaps on iCloud

Finding My Beshert

Posted on: October 5th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Beshert HappensHere’s a new prayer for finding a life partner, a “beshert.” More people have asked me to write on this topic than all others combined. It’s been on my list and unaddressed for years. I can’t explain why it’s taken so long, especially since I’ve written prayers for recognizing romantic love, “For New Love,” and about maintaining that love, “For an Open Heart.” Perhaps it’s because I struggle with the idea of a divinely-ordained life-partner. Note: language choices in this piece are identified by a slash “/” and optional inserts with [brackets]. To who are looking for a beshert, blessings on your journey.

Finding My Beshert
G-d of joy and celebration,
Of generations and futures,
Bless me as I begin/continue
My search for a life partner,
A man/woman for me to love and to hold dear,
A man/woman to love me and hold me dear.
For this is Your will and Your way,
That couples should bond to serve each other in joy
And to serve You through the fullness of family,
In mourning and in rejoicing,
Marking the days with thanksgiving and grace.

[My search has taken longer than I’d imagined.
Grant me the courage to continue
And the faith that my wait will be rewarded.]

G-d of our fathers and mothers,
Lead me wisely to a man/woman
Of character and strength,
Wisdom and understanding,
Torah and mitzvot,
A man woman of ____________ [add your own hopes and dreams].
Lead him/her swiftly to me,
A gift beyond measure.
Open our hearts to each other
And help us to keep our souls
Pure in service to each other and our family/families
All the days of our lives.

Blessed are You,
Source of blessing and love.

.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, מְקוֹר הַבְּרָכָה וְהָאַהֲבָה

Baruch atah, m’kor hab’rachah v’ha’ahavah.

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

Postscript: “For New Love” and for “For an Open Heart” appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: The Jewish Federation and The Jewish Community Foundation of the East Bay

 

Let Me

Posted on: June 12th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

helping-handThis is another meditation on living a life of joy and wonder, but with a twist. The core prayer is that our interactions serve to encourage and inspire one another to become our best selves. The twist: this meditation is remarkably intimate, a gentle dialogue between friends about majesty of a life together in service to G-d. As such, it may actually be a lover’s prayer, a marriage proposal or a wedding blessing.

Let Me
Let me be the one
Who reminds you
That wisdom and beauty
Shine through your eyes.

Let me be the one
Who reminds you
That power and courage
Are in your hands and in your heart.

Let me be the one
Who reminds you
That today is your day
To choose righteousness and love.

You are a gift of light.
You are a well of strength.
You are a message of hope

Let me be the one
Who reminds you
To sing, to pray,
To dance, to bless,
To feed the hungry,
To clothe the naked,
To free the captive,
To redeem the oppressed.
And you will remind me
To be the man/woman our G-d intended.
Then, together, we will be messengers
Of Torah and truth,
Bringing holiness into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of All,
You call in us to use our gifts
To heal the world.

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

Postscript: Here are more prayers about love: “Let Love,” “The Cut That Heals,” “For New Love,” “To Seek Your Love,” “A Heart of Love” and “A Moment of Love.” Several of these prayers appear in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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: Lovely Healthy Life

After News of a Clean Biopsy

Posted on: October 9th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

child-cancer-sucks-most-affordable_designThe results of my third prostate biopsy brought good news yesterday evening, a clean report. This is a quick prayer to be said after receiving the news of a clean biopsy. The tone here is different from my prayer for news of “Cancer Remission,” which recognizes the fight against the disease after a diagnosis and treatment. Of course, this prayer can be used by anyone at any stage of the disease; I wrote it, however, with a pre-diagnosis perspective.

This is the 15th prayer I’ve written to be said at various stages of the disease. I’m not posting them in sequence of the disease process. I posted “For Cancer Treatment” as several of my friends and family members battled their cancers. I posted “Cancer Remission” when my friend David emerged from his knock-down, drag-out fight with the disease. My new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, will include 14 prayers to be used at various points along the cancer journey. This one did not make it given the timing. I’m just grateful to have the reason to write it.

After News of a Clean Biopsy
G-d of blessing,
G-d of wholeness,
My biopsy is clean
And I am told, [at least for now,]
That I’m free of _______ [type of cancer suspected: breast, prostate, etc.] cancer.
Thank you for this news.
Thank you for this relief, this joy,
This moment of renewal and celebration.

G-d of life,
Keep me free of this and any cancer.
Grant health and healing to the men and women who are fighting this disease.
Grant comfort, solace and strength to the families of those who have succumbed.
Grant scientists and researchers tools and understanding
To develop new treatments for this and all cancers,
Speedily, in our day.

Blessed are You,
G-d of gifts,
G-d of health and healing,
Source of life.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other prayers in this series posted so far include: “For Cancer Treatment,” “Cancer Remission” and “On the Recurrence of Cancer,” as well as two related Hospice Prayers. See also: “For Surgery,” “Upon Recovery from Surgery,” “For a Critically-Ill Child,” “For a Critically-Ill Mother,” “For a Critically Ill Father” and “For Healing the Spirit.” Thanks to the friends and family who assisted with writing the series of cancer prayers. Most asked not to be named. You know who you are. I appreciate your wisdom.

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.

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

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