Posts Tagged ‘Shabbat blessing’

 

Come, Beloved

Posted on: November 20th, 2022 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on Shabbat, inspired by Lecha Dodi, Yedid Nefesh, and the Song of Songs. Join me in an exploration of Shabbat as the basis of writing new prayers, meditations, and songs during “Soul of Shabbat,” an online writing workshop on Ritualwell. Register here. Use the code ALDEN22 (case sensitive) for a $10 discount. “Come, Beloved” appears in my CCAR Press volume, This Grateful Heart.

Come, Beloved
If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat descend from her distant place,
Gently clearing the air
Of the steady buzz of the mundane,
Gently inviting you to stillness,
Gently preparing the space
For the arrival of holiness.

If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
The arrival of luminous wonder,
A radiance of glory that touches your heart,
So that love pulses through your veins.
The gates of your soul burst open,
You run through them, skipping, singing,
Maheir ahuv,
Hurry beloved…
How long since your hands touched mine,
How long since your lips brushed
These tired eyes,
How long since I rested in You.
Ki va mo-ed,
For the time has come,
The time has come to reunite.
And tears of surrender,
Shimmering with the taste of honey,
Will pour through you like grace
From G-d’s ancient well.
V’chaneini keemai olam.

If you listen,
Listen.
Listen…

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

Postscript: Here are links to more Shabbat prayers: “Shabbat as a Meditation,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.”

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!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Queen and King

Posted on: September 4th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

On Friday evening we yearn for the arrival of the Sabbath Queen, recalling the mystics of Safed who walked into the fields singing to greet her. The Queen is in the field, bringing love and comfort.

In Elul, the month before the High Holidays, the King is in the field. So taught Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of Chabad. The King’s place is in the palace, but in Elul the King comes to the fields to meet us. This is El Melekh Ne’eman, the Faithful Sovereign.

The Sabbath Queen is our metaphor of blessing and peace. The Faithful King is our metaphor of justice and forgiveness. Every Shabbat in Elul—beginning this Friday night—we can imagine the energy of a Faithful God, Creator of Shabbat, Sovereign of justice and mercy, coming through the fields to greet us.

Here’s a meditation for the four Shabbatot of Elul. For a fuller explanation, including pitfalls of these metaphors, see my essay on Ritualwell. The postscript is a calendar note on Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Queen and King
Come in peace,
Beloved of Israel,
Sabbath Queen,
Bringing sweet bread
And fine wine.

Come with grace,
Faithful King,
Sovereign and loyal,
Bringing hope
And mercy.

ידיד נפש Yedid Nefesh
Dearest Soul,
Meet us in the fields of our days.

אבינו מלכנו Avienu Malkeinu,
Our Father our King,
Bless us with renewal.

מקור חיים Makor Hayyim,
Source of Life,
Show us the wells of living waters.

אל מלך נאמן El Melech Ne’eman,
Loyal Sovereign,
Bring your realm of prosperity.

Let the glory of Shabbat dwell with us.
Let the hope of forgiveness enliven us.
Let the taste of rest comfort us.
Let the promise of renewal sustain us.
And we will glimpse the world to come as you bless us.
And we will become strong and humble in your Word.

The Queen is in the field.
The King is in the field.
They have come together,
To bless us,
To see us,
To sustain us
With their sacred power.

Greet them with music,
Greet them with dance,
Loving and keeping the Sabbath,
Doing the work of prayer and repentance,
With Torah and mitzvot,
With humility and passion,
And with songs of praise.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: A technical note on the calendar. Rosh Chodesh Elul occurs on the last day of the month of Av and the first day of the month of Elul. So, while last Shabbat Rosh Chodesh Elul, it was actually Av 30, and therefore not a Shabbat in Elul. That is why the Elul recitation of Psalm 27 didn’t begin until Sunday.

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Postscript: The King and Queen metaphors are anthropomorphic, partial expressions of the many expressions of the Indivisible One, therefore useful but limited. Special thanks to Rabbi Bob Carroll and Rivkah Moriah for their thoughtful comments. The description of R’ Schneur Zalman’s use of the King metaphor is adapted from Chabad.org. The translation of El Melekh Ne’eman as “Sovereign Loyal God” is from the Nehalal Siddur.

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: Free stock photos

Shabbat is the Place

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

Mediterranean SunsetThis meditation is inspired by life in Jerusalem. Many of my Shabbat meditations have been inspired by my home, including: “Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem” and “Shabbat Sings.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Shabbat is the Place
Shabbat is the place
Where time and space meet,
Without questioning
How the beginning began
Or how the ending ends.

Shabbat is the place
Where song and silence meet,
Blessing each other
With the gift of rest.

Shabbat is the place
Where dreams and angels meet,
Yearning together
For a world of peace.

Shabbat is the place
Where holiness and eternity meet,
Praying together
For the world to come.

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

Postscript: My other Shabbat prayers include: “Come, Beloved” and “Welcome, Sabbath Queen.” Click here for a full list of my Shabbat prayers, blessings and stories.

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: Water Jew Doing in Israel?

Blessing Myself for Shabbat

Posted on: July 1st, 2015 by Alden No Comments

1024px-Shabbat_ChallosThis is a new take on an old custom: blessing our children on Shabbat. In this prayer, we take a moment to bless ourselves, an act of self-kindness. This idea of expanding the custom is reflected in two other prayers: “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home” and “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner.”

Blessing Myself for Shabbat
G-d of Old,
Thank you for the week that has passed.
Thank you for this Shabbat.
Bless those around me with
Your love and Your light.
Let Your light shine on me, as well.
Help me to live a life of kindness and service
Guided by Torah and Mitzvot.
Let me see others through Your eyes,
With compassion and understanding.
Let me see myself through Your eyes,
With forgiveness and grace.
[Heal my body and spirit.]
May Your goodness rain down upon us
From this Shabbat until the next,
And all the days of our lives.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Other Shabbat prayers and stories include: “Come Beloved,” “For the Arrival of Shabbat,” “About Shabbat,” “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.

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Bless yourself this Shabbat! A new take on an old custom: https://tobendlight.com/?p=12727

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Jerusalem - City of GoldHere’s a short meditation on Shabbat in Jerusalem. I wrote this at a poetry workshop at Limmud UK. Here are links to more of my Shabbat prayers: “For the Arrival of Shabbat,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Come Beloved.” Each of them appear in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. To listen as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Shabbat Settles on Jerusalem
Shabbat settles on Jerusalem
Like a dove,
Gliding on silent wings.

Shabbat settles in my heart,
A lover with open arms,
Embracing my soul with song,
Wrapping me in quiet breathing.

And I send blessings into the world.
Light.
Bread.
Prayers of peace.

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

Postscript: Here are two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.

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!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Jerusalem – City of Gold, Deborah Tepper Papercut Art

Come, Beloved

Posted on: December 3rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Come Beloved Deborah TepperA new meditation on the love of Shabbat, inspired by the theme of Lecha Dodi, the words of Yedid Nefesh and the imagery of the Song of Songs. I wrote it at OSRUI’s Shabbat Shira Weekend after Josh Nelson invited me to read an original piece during Kabbalat Shabbat. This appears in my new book from CCAR Press, This Grateful Heart. Thanks to papercut artist Deborah Tepper for allowing me to illustrate this prayer with “The Joy of Shabbat – Lecha Dodia.”

Come, Beloved
If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
Shabbat descend from her distant place,
Gently clearing the air
Of the steady buzz of the mundane,
Gently inviting you to stillness,
Gently preparing the space
For the arrival of holiness.

If you listen,
Listen.
If you listen you will hear
The arrival of luminous wonder,
A radiance of glory that touches your heart,
So that love pulses through your veins.
The gates of your soul burst open,
You run through them, skipping, singing,
Maheir ahuv,
Hurry beloved…
How long since your hands touched mine,
How long since your lips brushed
These tired eyes,
How long since I rested in You.
Ki va mo-ed,
For the time has come,
The time has come to reunite.
And tears of surrender,
Shimmering with the taste of honey,
Will pour through you like grace
From G-d’s ancient well.
V’chaneini keemai olam.

If you listen,
Listen.
Listen…

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

Postscript: Here are links to more Shabbat prayers: “Shabbat as a Meditation,” “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home,” “Blessing for a Spouse/Partner” and “Weclome, Sabbath Queen.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat.”

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!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: Deborah Tepper, papercut image used with permission

 

Shabbat as a Meditation

Posted on: April 12th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Shabbat RecipiesThis meditation moves through the themes of Shabbat, reinforcing the rhythm of the day, the internal music of Shabbat. It takes us from candle lighting and welcoming the Sabbath Queen to yearning for the world to come and Havadallah. In doing so, it’s a reminder that Shabbat finds its radiance and glory in the essential mix of keva and kavanah, of our actions and our intentions.

Shabbat as a Meditation
This day of rest,
This day of wonder and awe,
Of holiness and light,
Is a chorus of the heart,
A sacred rhythm of meditations:
To invite holiness,
And welcome light.
To remember G-d’s gifts,
And welcome the Sabbath Queen.
To sanctify the home,
And honor each other.
To bless our children,
And remember creation.
To pray and sing in joy and thanksgiving,
And to remember the glory of Jerusalem.
To hear words of Torah,
And study with open hearts.
To share our bounty with others,
And rest under a canopy of peace.
To yearn for the world to come,
And to know the difference
Between holiness and the mundane.

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

Postscript: My Shabbat prayers include a “Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home” and a Shabbat “Blessing for a Spouse / Partner.” Here’s a prayer “For the Arrival of Shabbat” and a question to G-d “About Shabbat,” plus two short, short stories – also known as flash fiction – about Shabbat: “Sarah Rivkah: A Challah Baking Story” and “Mendel Baruch: S’hema on Shabbat.” Sarah Rivka is one of my favorites.

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: Shabbat Recipes for the Jewish Home

Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Shabbat-Candles-640x425One of my great joys of parenthood is putting my hands on my daughters’ heads and blessing them. As they went off to college and to see the world, those opportunities diminished. Now we are an ocean apart. And still, every Shabbat, when I light my candles, I remember them in prayer, in blessing. Optional lines appear in [brackets].

Shabbat Blessing for Children Who Have Left Home
My children,
Dear ones,
You are light before my eyes.
I miss your laugh, your smile, your hug,
Your hand in mine.

Bless you on your journey.
Bless you in your home and on your travels.
May you be surrounded with
Joy and beauty,
Adventure and wonder,
Hope and love.
Let Torah and mitzvot guide your steps.
[Bless your family.]
[Heal your body and spirit.]
Let G-d’s goodness rain down upon you
From this Shabbat until the next,
And all the days of your life.

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

Postscript: My other prayers for children include: “On the Birth of a Child,” “Father’s Meditation,” “Meditation for a Child’s First Torah Reading,” “For My Child’s Surgery,” “For a Critically-Ill Child,” “My Child Leaves Home,” “On the Birth of Grandchildren” and “For Bereaved Children.”

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!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: The Shiksa in the Kitchen

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