Posts Tagged ‘Shabbat Shira’

 

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.

Ha’azinu: We Are Music

Posted on: October 14th, 2016 by Alden No Comments

music-notesIn this week’s parasha Ha’azinu (Deut. 22), Moses sings a majestic farewell song, beginning by calling on the heavens to hear. The Haftarah (II Sam. 22:1-51) is David’s Song of Thanksgiving. This prayer/poem is about embodying the music of life, hearing the music created when we move in and out of moments together. This piece appears my forthcoming book, This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings, from CCAR Press.

We Are Music
Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

You are music.
Your breath and hands,
Your smile and tears,
Your eyes and pulse,
Are notes that dance
In the space between us.

We are music.
A symphony conducted
By the rhythm of life,
By G-d’s hand,
By our choices, day-by-day.

Our notes play on,
Separately, together,
The sacred sound of living.
Our music waltzes,
Making melodies fresh and new,
Never heard again,
Bass lines that pulse from our hearts
To the Soul of the Universe.

Joy bends sorrow.
Sorrow bends hope.
Hope bends grief.
Grief bends love.
Love bends joy.

Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

The silence is your longing.
The silence is your yearning for a different song.
The music of your own will
Blocks your heart to the harmonies
Already dancing around you,
To the chorus already singing around you.

Oh, you hidden delight of heaven.
Oh, you secret gift of G-d.
We are music.
We are music.
The music plays
Through us.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript: While Moses calls on the heavens to give ear, this meditation calls on us to listen to our own — and to each other’s — hearts. This is my second meditation incorporating instructions to the reader into the prayer. The first is called “Invitations.” Both include this exclamation: “Oh, you hidden delight of heaven. Oh, you secret gift of G-d. Please see also: “Life as a Symphony,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.” This prayer first appeared on this site on Feb. 6, 2013.

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: Picks and Sticks Music

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?

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

 

Gravity and Light

Posted on: November 23rd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

Shabbat Shira, The BayitDuring a short walk from “The Bayit” to the dining hall on a crisp fall morning at OSRUI’s Shabbat Shira retreat, my friend Michael said: “Torah is gravity.” He paused to let me soak it in. I thought for a moment, then said, “I may borrow that line.” A few days later, I wrote this meditation on Torah and mitzvot.

Gravity and Light
Torah is gravity,
Binding us to our ancestors,
Holding us near to our G-d,
Anchoring us with wisdom and understanding.
Torah is gravity,
Tying our lives
To our history and our destiny.

Mitzvot are light,
Illuminating our path,
Brightening our days,
Showing us the way to holiness and service,
Leading us to heal the world.
Mitzvot are light,
Shining around us,
With beauty.

Torah is gravity.
May your feet never falter.
Mitzvot are light.
May your hands shine with grace.

Blessed are G-d’s gifts.

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

Postscript: Shabbat Shira was an amazing “reboot” to my creativity. I wrote many new pieces there, including “Sephardi Quarter Note,” and began several others. My friend Rabbi Larry Carol and I wrote a song together called “Only Now.” Here’s a link to his blog post about it. In the coming weeks I’ll post additional prayers written because of that amazing event. Shabbat Shira 2015 is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 22-25.

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. If you like this prayer, please post a link to Facebook, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: Facebook Photo of “The Bayit” at OSRUI during 2014’s Shabbat Shira

Sephardi Quarter Note

Posted on: November 2nd, 2014 by Alden No Comments

sephardic-womenThis prayer/poem is about the beauty of Sephardic song. The inspiration came during a class taught by Galeet Darsahsti at OSRUI‘s Shabbat Shira, an annual weekend of creativity, focused on Jewish music. Music is a common theme for me, such as: “For the Gift of Music,” “Sing Hallelujah” and one of my favorites “We are Music.” This appears in my new book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Sephardi Quarter Note
If you listen
To the space between
The notes and the half notes,
The space between heartbeats,
You’ll hear quarter notes of love and yearning,
Ancient music of hope and sorrow,
Infinite in variation,
The echo of generations.
Notes that bend toward G-d.
Notes that linger with longing.
Notes that plead for redemption.
The voice of sorrow
And the voice of laughter.
Notes of surrender.
Notes that refuse to surrender.
Notes that cry out to Zion and Israel.

If you listen
To the space between
The notes and the half notes,
The rises and the falls,
The trills and trumpets,
You will hear a rhythm and a pulse
Calling out:
Adon Olam,
Yedid Nefesh,
Shachar Avakeshcha,
Yodukha Rayonai.
Master of the Universe,
Beloved of my Heart,
At Dawn I Seek You,
My Thoughts will Praise You.”

In the space between the notes,
Dreams of G-d
Touch the core of being
To become music.

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

Postscript: Thanks to Galeet for including this prayer/poem in a recent email to her fans, as well as her suggested changes to this piece. More prayers incorporating the theme of music include: “We are Music,” “Life as a Symphony” and “For the Gift of Song.”

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 Source: BuzzNet/Jewish Art House

Sing Praises

Posted on: October 31st, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

Alden Writing Migdal DavidI wrote this song of praise in about seven minutes while making the Kickstarter film about my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. My videographer wanted a shot of me writing. Pretending to write a prayer felt silly, so I jotted down a few favorite lines, ignored the camera and let it flow. The lines are, essentially, instructions to the reader incorporated into the prayer: quite, breathe, listen. I use those same instructions in two other prayers: “We are Music” and “Invitations.”

Here’s what I wrote during the video. Since then, I’ve changed one word. The rest is exactly as I wrote it in the black moleskin notebook that you can see me using the film. The title came later.

Sing Praises
Quiet now.
Breathe.
Breathe and listen.

Listen to the prayers in the wind.
Listen to the joy on the breeze.
Listen to the hope in the heavens.
For love and life are yours.
Holiness and passion remain.
Wonder and awe
Shimmer from sunset to sunset.

This is the moment where love meets joy,
Where hope meets surrender.

What is that music?
What is that radiance?
What is that yearning?

Quiet now.
Breathe.
Breathe and listen.

Listen to your own voice.
Listen to your own prayers.

This is your power and your peace.
This is your pulse and your heartbeat.
This is your life.

Sing praises,
Sing praises.

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

Postscript: Please see also: “We are Music,” “Invitations,” “Life as a Symphony,” “For the Gift of Song” and “For the Gift of Music.”

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.

Photo Source: Elahn Zetlin, Chutzpah Media, from my Kickstarter

We Are Music

Posted on: February 6th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

music-notesThis prayer/poem is about embodying the music of life and hearing the music created when we move in and out of moments together. It’s my second incorporating instructions to the reader into the prayer. The first is called “Invitations.” This appears in This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings from CCAR Press.

We Are Music
Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

You are music.
Your breath and hands,
Your smile and tears,
Your eyes and pulse,
Are notes that dance
In the space between us.

We are music.
A symphony conducted
By the rhythm of life,
By G-d’s hand,
By our choices, day-by-day.

Our notes play on,
Separately, together,
The sacred sound of living.
Our music waltzes,
Making melodies fresh and new,
Never heard again,
Bass lines that pulse from our hearts
To the Soul of the Universe.

Joy bends sorrow.
Sorrow bends hope.
Hope bends grief.
Grief bends love.
Love bends joy.

Quiet now.
Listen.
Breathe.
And listen.

The silence is your longing.
The silence is your yearning for a different song.
The music of your own will
Blocks your heart to the harmonies
Already dancing around you,
To the chorus already singing around you.

Oh, you hidden delight of heaven.
Oh, you secret gift of G-d.
We are music.
We are music.
The music plays
Through us.

© 2019 CCAR Press from This Joyous Soul: A New Voice for Ancient Yearnings

Postscript: Please see also: “Life as a Symphony,” “Invitations,” “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 Credit: Picks and Sticks Music

Shabbat Shira: For the Gift of Music

Posted on: December 5th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

This is a short and sweet prayer about music reposted today in gratitude for a fantastic weekend at OSRUI, the musical retreat Shabbat Shira. To listen while you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

For the Gift of Music
G-d, we give thanks for the gift of music,
For horn and flute,
For strings and drums,
For crescendo and staccato,
For the gift that gives our spirits a divine voice.
Hear this prayer for those who write music, arranging sound, seeking beauty.
Hear this prayer for those who play music, creating sound, releasing beauty.
Make their music Your vessel.
Let heaven pour joy and sorrow, love and loss through them
So that they overflow with Your most secret prayers for Your people,
Drawing others to Your blessings.
So that when we hear their music
Our souls turn back to You for shelter.
Together, we offer our voices back to heaven,
And rejoice.

Postscript: I also had the pleasure of reading this at an open mike night at Shabbat Shira. It was originally posted on May 12, 2010, and was reposted along with “For the Gift of Song,” in memory of  Debbie Friedman, z”l, on January 9, 2011. My other creativity prayers include: “For the Gift of Dance,” “For the Gift of Art,” “For the Gift of Laughter,” “For the Gift of Words” and “For the Gift of Torah Scholarship.”

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

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