Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

 

Removing Life Support

Posted on: June 27th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

A difficult prayer for a difficult moment. In classic Jewish tradition, this prayer includes a request for forgiveness from the one who is near death by those who made the decision to remove life support. It is brief, by design, so as not to prolong the moment for anyone.

Removing Life Support
G-d of compassion,
With sorrow,
With love,
With hope defeated,
I/We say a last goodbye
To my/our _______________ (relationship)
Whom we cherished in life,
And whom we will mourn in death.

Grant him/her/them a perfect rest
Under Your canopy of peace
As medical professionals
Will soon remove life support.

O grievous moment,
O grievous hour,
Beloved _____________ (name or relationship)
Forgive me/us any wrongs
I/we may have done to you in this life,
And forgive me/us this last act of compassion,
Allowing your life and your suffering to end.

G-d of mercy,
May You grant hope in our days
And peace in our years.
As we mourn,
Accept this soul
To You
With love.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: Thanks to my friend Rabbi Paul Kipnes for suggesting this piece.

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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I Walked with God

Posted on: June 20th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

This is a new meditation on a sudden and unexpected encounter with the Divine. And a quick personal note: Friends, I’ve been working on book, music, and other projects and have not consistently posted new prayer / poems here as I have in the past. My plan, moving forward, is to return to being more consistent with sharing new work with you. Thanks for your understanding.

I Walked with God
For a fraction
Of a fraction
Of a moment,
I walked with You.
It began
And ended
So quickly
That it was gone
Before I felt
Your presence.
How is that fair?
How is that kind?
To answer my yearning
With desire.
To answer my longing
With emptiness.
To leave me with only
A shadow of a memory.
To wonder what
Could have been
If I was ready
For You.
Or maybe,
Just maybe,
You are asking
Me to remember,
To always remember,
How close
We can be.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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Postscript: I previously posted a preview of this meditation on a Facebook thread. After my friend and teacher, Rabbi Dov Laiman, wondered if even the briefest encounter with the divine should be a source joy, rather than disappointment, I added the last seven lines.

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.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo by Alden Solovy

How to Find G-d

Posted on: January 6th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

A simple meditation on seeking–and finding–G-d. Perhaps it is not as difficult as we might think. Perhaps it is only a matter of our willingness to see. Or perhaps I need to look a bit more closely at myself, others and the world.

How to Find G-d

Look for the image of G-d
In all that is,
In all that was,
In all that will be.
For the image of G-d radiates
From your life
And from your face,
The holiness that infuses us all.
This is the legacy,
The gift forever given,
Passed from mother to child,
From father to babe,
Visible in your countenance
And in your way of being.
Look for the image of G-d
Inside yourself,
And you will see it
In everyone and everything.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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

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.”

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo: Taken in Ya’ar Kedoshim by Alden Solovy

Authentic Confession: Meditation on the Vidui

Posted on: July 19th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

ashamnuIn preparation for the Yamim Noraim, I’ll lead a free workshop called “Authentic Confessions: Selichot that Matter,” presented by the soon to be launched ‘High Holidays at Home’ from Haggadot.com. Register here for the August 26 webinar. We’ll look at traditional and new texts of the Vidui, the confessional, and we’ll ask: What is an authentic confession? And what are the confessions that matter? Here’s one answer:

Meditation on the Vidui
For the sins I’ve committed against myself,
And for the sins I’ve committed against others,
I offer a new heart.

For the sins I’ve committed against my family,
And for the sins I’ve committed against my friends,
I offer new understanding.

For the sins I’ve committed against children,
And for the sins I’ve committed against adults,
I offer new restraint.

For the sins I’ve committed against neighbors,
And for the sins I’ve committed against strangers,
I offer new insight.

For the sins I’ve committed against the powerful,
And for the sins I’ve committed against the weak,
I offer new wisdom.

For the sins I’ve committed against nations,
And for the sins I’ve committed against peoples,
I offer a new voice.

G-d of generations,
Source of forgiveness and grace,
For the sins that I remember,
And for the sins that I’ve forgotten,
I offer myself, in humble service,
To You, Your Word and Your Holy Name.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This was originally published on Aug. 31, 2011. Click here for my full list of prayers for the Yamim Noraim. Here’s a focused list of prayers for Elul, another one of prayers for Rosh Hashana, a list of prayers for Yom Kippur and one more for Sukkot. 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. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: Va-yehi Or

A Prayer for Dad

Posted on: June 17th, 2020 by Alden No Comments

Dad Me Key West 84081Here’s a prayer for Father’s Day, celebrating Dad’s passion for family and his role as a source of wisdom, inspiration and love. The photo is me and my father Jack z”l in Key West, where I became a father for the first time. Happy Father’s day to dads and children everywhere.

A Prayer for Dad
For our father,
A song of dignity and honor.

Guardian of mitzvot,
Keeper of truths,
Hand of protection and peace,
We are blessed with your humor and compassion,
Your zest for life
And your zeal for family.
You remind us to open our lives to G-d’s majesty and mystery
G-d’s justice and mercy.
You remind us to seek radiance and splendor,
Awe for creation and compassion for each other,
And choose joy over grief,
Laughter over tears.

G-d of fatherly patience and strength,
Bless our family with love
And our father with vision, endurance and hope.
May his devotion inspire us to righteousness and charity,
Guided by Torah.
Bless our lives with abundance
And our days with vigor,
So that we bring majesty and mystery to our lives
And into the world.

Blessed are You, G-d of our fathers,
Who provides just and righteous men
In every generation.

© 2020 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: I wrote this prayer more than a decade ago as “For the Patriarch,” and it appears in my book Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing with that title. Our times, sensitivity, and the meanings associated with the term “the patriarchy” call out for the title change, as well as two changes in the text. Thanks to Hila Ratzabi and Adva Chattler of Ritualwell for suggesting the revisions.

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: Alden Solovy

Meditation on the Vidui

Posted on: October 6th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

ashamnuHere’s a meditation to be recited after the Yom Kippur confessional prayer, written to reinforce the core message of repentence and return. It was originally posted as a “Meditation after the Yom Kippur Vidui.” A friend pointed out that with a broader name for the prayer it can be used on Selichot, as well as throughout the month of Elul as preparation for the High Holy Days, the Yamim Noraim.

Meditation on the Vidui
For the sins I’ve committed against myself,
And for the sins I’ve committed against others,
I offer a new heart.

For the sins I’ve committed against my family,
And for the sins I’ve committed against my friends,
I offer new understanding.

For the sins I’ve committed against children,
And for the sins I’ve committed against adults,
I offer new restraint.

For the sins I’ve committed against neighbors,
And for the sins I’ve committed against strangers,
I offer new insight.

For the sins I’ve committed against the powerful,
And for the sins I’ve committed against the weak,
I offer new wisdom.

For the sins I’ve committed against nations,
And for the sins I’ve committed against peoples,
I offer a new voice.

G-d of generations,
Source of forgiveness and grace,
For the sins that I remember,
And for the sins that I’ve forgotten,
I offer myself, in humble service,
To You, Your Word and Your Holy Name.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Thanks to Rabbi Joseph Meszler for the suggestion. This was originally published on Aug. 31, 2011. Click here for the full list of prayers for the Yamim Noraim. Here’s a focused list of prayers for Elul, another one of prayers for Rosh Hashana, a list of prayers for Yom Kippur and one more for Sukkot. 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. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Source: Va-yehi Or

Come Walk, Revisited

Posted on: July 19th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Saturday marks 50 years since the first manned spacecraft landed on the Moon, with the first human steps there coming a few hours later, with Apollo 11 Commander Neil Alden Armstrong’s now immortal words: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” In that moment, it seemed that there were no horizons that we couldn’t conquer with effort and imagination. In 50 years we’ve learned more about the vastness of our universe and the depths of our inner dimensions. To commemorate the first moon walk, here’s an invitation for you to walk the unexplored landscapes of your heart.

Come Walk
I know a man who lives in a rainbow.
I’ve heard the poet who lives on the moon.
I’ve heard the secret that sings all around you.
I know a man who can teach you the tune.

Hear the music among the lilies
And whispers in the blades of grass.
Hear the thunder beneath the ocean.
Feel the love that will always last.

Come walk the sacred sunshine.
Come walk the Milky Way.
Walk gently through the heavens.
Walk gently through each day.

Put your head upon my shoulder
And your hand upon my chest.
Put your hope above your sorrow.
Give yourself a time to rest.

I know a man who sings from the mountains,
And another who sings from the seas.
I’ve heard the man who sings from his glory,
And the man who sings on his knees.

Come walk between the layers of clouds.
Come walk the spirals of stars.
Walk gently through joy and sorrow.
Walk gently, walk holy, walk far.

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

Postscript: This meditation first appeared on this site on August 8, 2010. Thank you to Ira Scott Levin, Julia Bordenaro Levin and Tracy Friend. Their music helped me find this voice. Thanks also to Ros Roucher, her comments on earlier drafts. Here are more prayer/poems from the spiritual traveler: “All is Well,” “River,” “Bird is Bird” and “About the Rainbow.” 

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 Source: Wikipedia

Rhythm and Grace

Posted on: May 20th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

This is another song of the Spiritual Traveler, calling on each of us to hear the music that surrounds us and to feel the power that G-d has given to each of us. Other songs of the Spiritual Traveler include: “Light, Overflowing,” “Dance in the Madness,” “Dance in the Sky, “Come Walk” and “Spiritual Vandals.”

Rhythm and Grace
Let the music of your life guide you,
And the rising sun warm you,
Bringing hope and laughter to your moments and breaths.

Let the power of your stance guard you,
As the horizon blackens and the storm approaches
Holding you firm and ready against the rising winds.

Let the wisdom of your heart ground you
When fear and doubt assail your footsteps
So that you listen to the voice of love and truth.

Let the rhythm of your life grace you,
So that the spinning earth
Will carry you on a journey of joyous adventure.

© 2019 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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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: NASA

The Broken Sky

Posted on: April 27th, 2019 by Alden No Comments

Another song of the Spiritual Traveler, hinting that if we look beyond that which appears to be broken we will see that everything is holy. This piece appears in This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with Poetry and Prayer from CCAR Press.

The Broken Sky
Look beyond the broken sky,
Cracked by a blaze of sorrow,
To the edge of the universe,
Where stars dance in endless spirals.

There is nothing as small as an angry mind,
And nothing so large as forgiveness.
There is nothing as wild as breathless love,
And nothing as free as your soul.

Look beyond the life you know,
Yearning for signs of truth,
To the shimmering edge of faith itself,
Where holiness sings to the willing heart.

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

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Postscript: If you resonate with this prayer, you will likely enjoy “Come Walk” and “Spiritual Vandals.” Other songs of the Spiritual Traveler include: “Light, Overflowing,” “Dance in the Madness” and “Dance in the Sky.”

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: TrendinTech

The Pulse of Holiness

Posted on: October 15th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

A meditation on the depths of love, the journey toward holiness and the abiding connection between them.

The Pulse of Holiness
The love
That echoes love
That whispers love
That breathes love
In the quiet stillness of morning
Is leading you toward light,
Toward understanding,
Toward G-d.
For love is the pulse of holiness,
The beating heart of radiance and wonder,
The rhythm of creation,
The energy of blessing,
The starburst of the divine.

The love
That echoes in your heart
Resonates eternal
With all beings,
With all souls,
With the wisdom of the ages,
And the wisdom of the earth.

Yes, love is the pulse of holiness.
Let it flow through you.
Let your countenance shine majesty
From the core of your being
To the edge of the universe,
To fill the world
With splendor.

© 2018 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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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: Our Daily Journey

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