Posts Tagged ‘Simchat Torah’


War on Simchat Torah

Posted on: October 7th, 2023 by Alden

Shabbat Simchat Torah 5784 / 2023. I’ve been inside a bomb shelter more today than in the entire 11.5 years I’ve been in Israel combined. ‘This is not a situation, or a round of fighting,’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. ‘ We are at war.’ This is a multi-prayer liturgy on this difficult day, and for the days ahead. It begins with a new prayer, ‘War on Simchat Torah,’ then moves to ‘For the Soldiers of the IDF’ and concludes with ‘Israel: A Meditation.’

War on Simchat Torah
On the ground,
We rejoice with the Torah.
In the air,
The missiles fly.
On the ground
The attack has come, as well.
Some still dance
With the Torah,
While others shelter in place.

We are at war,
Even as we remember
The blessings of G-d’s word,
Even as we pledge
To be true to our faith
And to live according
To G-d’s instructions.

כי נר מצוות ותורה אור ודרך חיים
For mitzvot are a lamp
And Torah is light
And the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)

G-d of Israel,
Bless this nation
And protect us
Even as the sirens blare
And combat has come
To our streets.

Let peace be close at hand,
So that we dance
In the gardens and the groves,
In the heights and in the deserts
Once more
In joyous celebration
Of Torah and life.

For the Soldiers of the IDF
Rock of Israel,
Our sons and daughters,
Our brothers and sisters,
Our family and friends,
Have been called to serve,
In the name of peace and justice,
In the name of sovereignty and survival,
To defend and to protect our land
From violence and assault,
From kidnappers and terrorists,
From missile and mortar,
From those who would destroy our nation and our people.

We stand with the defenders of Israel.
We honor the guardians of Zion.
We hold dear the sentries of Am Kadosh.

G-d of Old,
We know the price of safety,
We know the cost of security.
Bless the injured and wounded
In every generation
With Your healing hand.
Bless the dead and the bereaved
With Your love and consolation.
Bless the heroes of our past
And the heroes of the future
With a share in the world to come.

Source of Peace,
Keep our soldiers safe,
And let our soldiers keep us safe,
So that they return in life and in health
To the loving arms of our people.

Israel: A Meditation
You are my people.
You are my heart and you are my hope.
We waited together at the mountain
When G-d revealed the Holy Word.
We wandered together through the desert
On the path to sacred soil.
We watched the sea part.
We heard the heavens roar.
We stood at the doorway to freedom,
At the border of a Promised Land.

You are my destiny.
You are my joy and you are my truth.
We were victorious at Jericho,
Unyielding at Masada.
We defied empires
For Torah.
We defied kings
For justice and freedom.
We’ve traveled the earth,
Wandered the millennia,
Refugees of the ages,
Homeless and hopeful,
Waiting to return
To native ground.

You are my brother in history,
My sister in fortune,
The mother of my courage,
The father of my heart,
The child of my longing,
And the light of generations.
To you I pledge my right arm
And my voice in song.
To you I pledge my soul.
To you I pledge my spirit.

You are my nation.
You are my inheritance.
You are my home.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, 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. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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Photo Source: Times of Israel / AP

Let Torah

Posted on: February 25th, 2012 by tobendlight

The Torah is waiting for you. Not just to study it. Not just to know it. To live it. This is the latest in a series of prayers that invoke a prophetic voice, prayers that call on us to serve the Source of All Being, including: “Let Truth,” “Let Joy,” “Let Holiness” and “Let Love.” Each one ends with a call to action. To listen along, click on the triangle in the bar below (website only). The text follows.

Let Torah
Let Torah hold your moments
Carry your days,
Lift your years.

Let Torah fill your hands,
Nourish your breath,
Refresh your heart.

Let Torah sustain your words,
Enliven your deeds
Lead you home.

For Torah is in each life and each generation,
In the yearning for G-d and in G-d’s yearning for us,
The flow of secrets from Sinai,
Divine guidance and grace,
Calling out to you dear sisters and brothers:
‘Awake you slumberers!
Awake you who wander empty and lonely without wonder and awe.
Have you forgotten this precious gift?
Have you forsaken your past and your future?
Have you traded your birthright for empty promises?’

This, then, is G-d’s command:
Let Torah hold you,
Fill you,
Sustain you.
Let Torah guide you into radiance and mystery.
Study and learn,
Question and seek,
Hear and grow,
Lifting your life in sacred service.
Let Torah be your breath and your heartbeat.

Blessed are You, Source of Torah.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

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Simchat Torah Prayers

Posted on: October 9th, 2011 by tobendlight

Hebrew_Sefer_Torah_scrollStories and prayers for Simchat Torah, when Jews all over the world rejoice in the gift of the Torah. Here are three short, short stories and several prayers about Torah and Torah scholarship:


On Torah

Click here for the full list of prayers for the Yamim Noraim. Here are focused lists of prayers for Elul, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Simchat Torah. And here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers.

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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons


Motyl the Fool

Posted on: August 25th, 2010 by tobendlight

Hallelujah Scroll JamieThis short, short story celebrates the pure, unbounded joy of loving Torah. It’s a favorite and great for Simchat Torah. Here are more stories and prayers for Simchat Torah, including a prayer For The Gift of Torah Scholarship.” The image is from a poster created for my Whispered Prayer” by sofer Jamie Shear. To listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.


Motyl the Fool
Motyl doesn’t know a single word of Talmud. He can’t recite a single verse of Torah. But when he lifts the Sacred Scroll on Simchat Torah, when he holds the wood in his hand and the velvet brushes his cheek, when the song wraps itself around his heart, the parchment itself can feel his joy. Motyl dances, clutching the Torah to his chest and singing with all his might, “Torah orah, Torah orah, hallelujah!” One by one the words of the Law rise off the Scroll to dance with him. He dances with Breisheit and Shabbat, with Shema and Hineni. And Motyl the Fool can feel the fire of G-d’s Word. Motyl doesn’t know a single word of Talmud. He can’t recite a single verse of Torah. Motyl doesn’t need to. The words know him.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: The full Whispered Prayer” poster is available for sale as a downloadable PDF. Click here for the full list of prayers for the Yamim Noraim. Here are focused lists of prayers for Elul, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Simchat Torah. And here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers.

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.

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