Posts Tagged ‘Sefirat HaOmer’

 

Guest Writer: Rabbi Karyn Kedar

Posted on: March 25th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Rabbi Karyn Kedar is a friend who has developed a set of Omer counting tools, both from my publisher, CCAR Press, the book “Omer: A Counting” and a set of lovely inspirational cards with photos by Chime Costello. Here are some of my favorites:

“To know when to reach and when to yield takes years of practice, years of prayer. To know when to be still takes even longer.” — One week and three days of the Omer (my birthday)

“We are summoned to live a better and lovelier life; calmer, quieter, more aware. And even when it is hard and we can feel the exertion of the beating of our heart, we must yield as much kindness as humanly possible.” — Two weeks and three days of the Omer

“When you speak of yourself, use words that are gentle, passionate. Speak of love, of courage, of perseverance, of strength of character, of fortitude. And then become the words you speak.” — Four weeks and four days of the Omer

“And know, of all the words I have found, kindness is the most powerful. It can transform the world. At the end of my days, the only thing I will regret in my life are times when I was unkind.” — Seven weeks of the Omer

© All quotes from “Omer: A Counting” are 2014 CCAR Press

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Postscript: “Omer: A Counting” and the Omer inspirational cards are available from CCAR Press using these links.

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.

Image Source: CCAR Press

Vayeshev 5775: For Humility

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Alden No Comments

HumilityThis week’s Torah reading shows the maturing of Joseph: from a boy who tattles on his brothers, flaunting his dreams and his special coat, to a man who knows that his gifts come from G-d. He learns humility. This is meditation about living a life of humility and service. It appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below.

 

For Humility
G-d, give me a quiet heart,
A peaceful heart,
A humble heart.
Teach me to be gentle with myself,
So that I may be gentle with others.
Teach me to be patient with myself,
So that I may be patient with others.
Teach me kindness and gratitude,
Joy and humor,
Strength and forgiveness,
Trust and faith,
Openness, willingness and surrender.

To Praise, not to be praised.
To Bless, not to be blessed.
To Glorify, not to be glorified.
To Extol, not to be extolled.
To Sanctify, not to be sanctified.

So that all will go well with your People Israel.

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

Postscript: Although I’ve selected this prayer for Vayeshev 5775, it can be said at any time and has particular relevance during the Counting of the Omer and the Hebrew month of Elul. This prayer first appeared on this site on August 4, 2010.

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 Credit: Courage for Life

Rules for Being Me in Jerusalem

Posted on: April 28th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

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.

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

© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. 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.

If you use this prayer, please click “like” on this page and subscribe. Please take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet. Thanks. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!

Photo Credit: Alden Solovy

The Season of Counting

Posted on: March 26th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

HHope CountingThis is a meditation on counting. Counting as a spiritual practice is a reminder to stay present in the current moment, the task at hand and that we are on a journey. Beginning the second night of Passover we count the days until Shavuot. By Counting the Omer we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. This piece appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

The Season of Counting
This is the season of counting:
Of counting days and nights,
Of counting the space between slavery of the body
And freedom of the soul.

This is a season of seeing:
Of seeing earth and sky,
Of seeing renewal in the land
And renewal in our hearts.

This is a season of journey:
Of inner journeys and outer journeys
Taking us places that need us,
Places that we need.

This is the season of counting,
The season of joyous anticipation,
Of wondrous waiting,
In devotion and awe,
For our most precious gift,
The gift that binds our hearts to each other across the millennia,
The gift that binds our souls to G-d’s Holy Word.

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

Postscript: Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut – Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
  • Shavuot

Please check out my Meet the Author video 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 Credit: Jan Zabransky on logopond.com

Ethics

Posted on: April 15th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Got ethics ?This quick meditation takes literally the idea of embodying our ethics. It’s written as a meditation for general use. I’ve also selected it for use during week six of Counting the Omer. This piece is part of a collaboration with Lin Batsheva Kahn of the Tikvah Company of Artists and Desiree Miller of the Chicago Civic Orchestra called “Three Prayers,” using my words, original choreography and dance by Lin and original cello music by Desiree. “Three Prayers” premiered 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 to Ethics, written for dance and performed by Desiree, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Ethics
Strong and sure.
Gentle and soft.
The ethics of my hands.

Awake and bright.
Aware and kind.
The ethics of my eyes.

Brave and true.
Solid and steady.
The ethics of my legs.

Open and willing.
Able and ready.
The ethics of my arms.

Present and engaged.
Receiving. Giving.
The ethics of my mind.

Joy and tears.
Comfort and hope.
The ethics of my heart.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Here are three yoga meditations that have a similar rhythm to this prayer: “Breath: Yoga Meditation I,” “Strong: Yoga Meditation II” and “Pray and…: Yoga Meditation III.” See also: “For Service” and “On Making a Mistake.”

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 Credit: Lindsay Olsen

Shavuot Prayers and Stories

Posted on: June 2nd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

ShavuotPrayers and stories for Shavuot. To read them, click on the name of the prayer.

Learning and Loving Torah

Holiness and Our Relationship with G-d

Short stories about the love of Torah

And a  prayer about Counting the Omer: “The Season of Counting.”

During the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot, the period from the exodus to revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and the weeks. And so we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. According to mystical practice, each week has a theme (and each day a sub-theme) that leads us to revelation. Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of Counting the Omer:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut – Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)

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: Congregation Or Chadash

Omer, Week Seven: Malchut

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

malkhut1Here’s a list of prayers for the themes of week seven of Counting the OmerMalchut– Nobility, sovereignty, leadership. They’re listed in my suggested order, from day 43 at the top of the list to day 49 at the bottom. To read them, click on the name of the prayer.

And a prayer about Counting the Omer: “The Season of Counting.”

During the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot, the period from the exodus to revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and the weeks. And so we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. According to mystical practice, each week has a theme (and each day a sub-theme) that leads us toward revelation. Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut (Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
  • Shavuot

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 Credit: Kabbalah Names

Omer, Week Six: Yesod

Posted on: May 23rd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

yesod1Here’s a list of prayers for the themes of week six of Counting the OmerYesod– Foundation, bonding. They’re listed in my suggested order, from day 36 at the top of the list to day 42 at the bottom. To read them, please click on the name of the prayer.

And a prayer about Counting the Omer: “The Season of Counting.”

During the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot, the period from the exodus to revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and the weeks. And so we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. According to mystical practice, each week has a theme (and each day a sub-theme) that leads us toward revelation. Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut (Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
  • Shavuot

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 Credit: Kabbalah Names

Omer, Week Five: Hod

Posted on: May 16th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

hod1Here’s a list of prayers for the themes of week five of Counting the OmerHodHumility, splendor. They’re listed in my suggested order, from day 29 at the top of the list to day 35 at the bottom. To read them, please click on the name of the prayer.

And a prayer about Counting the Omer: “The Season of Counting.”

During the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot, the period from the exodus to revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and the weeks. And so we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. According to mystical practice, each week has a theme (and each day a sub-theme) that leads us toward revelation. Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:

  • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
  • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
  • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
  • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
  • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
  • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
  • Week Seven: Malchut (Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
  • Shavuot

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 Credit: Kabbalah Names

Omer, Week Three: Tiferet

Posted on: May 3rd, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

tiferethPrayers for week three of Counting the Omer: Tiferet– Beauty, harmony, compassion, truth. They’re listed in my suggested order, from day 15 at the top of the list to day 21 at the bottom. To read them, please click on the name of the prayer.

  • And a prayer about Counting the Omer: “The Season of Counting.”During the seven weeks from Passover to Shavuot, the period from the exodus to revelation on Sinai, Jews count the days and the weeks. And so we remember the journey from the depths of slavery to the heights of G-d’s Holy Presence. According to mystical practice, each week has a theme (and each day a sub-theme) that leads us toward revelation. Here are links to prayers and meditations for each week of counting the Omer and Shavuot:
    • Week One: Chesed (Lovingkindness, Love, Benevolence)
    • Week Two: Gevurah (Discipline, Justice, Restraint, Awe)
    • Week Three: Tiferet (Beauty, Harmony, Compassion, Truth)
    • Week Four: Netzach (Eternity, Endurance, Fortitude, Ambition)
    • Week Five: Hod (Humility, Splendor)
    • Week Six: Yesod  (Foundation, Bonding)
    • Week Seven: Malchut (Nobility, Sovereignty, Leadership)
    • Shavuot

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 Credit: Kabbalah Names

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6