Posts Tagged ‘t’fillah’

 

Al Hanism, 5784

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

On Hanukkah it’s traditional to add Al Hanisim, “About the Miracles,” to the Amidah and the Grace after Meals. How do we praise God’s miracles in the aftermath of the shock assault, kidnappings, and wanton violence on Shabbat Simchat Torah? How do we say this prayer in the face of war? Here’s an adaptation of Al Hanisim for this difficult year. The adaptation of the traditional Hebrew — a collaboration with Avital Ordan — reflects the idea that some miracles happen in secret, known as nissim nistarim.

על הניסים, תשפ”ד

For all the miracles,
Seen and unseen,
Done and yet to be done,
We thank You.

God of miracles,
Ancient and new,
We do not wait for signs and wonders,
Defending our people and our land,
Fighting to free the hostages.

Perhaps the acts of survival
And moments of heroism
On that Black Shabbat,
Hint at God’s guiding hand
Hidden from our sight.
Let us pray for unseen miracles.

Perhaps the hostages
So far released,
Remind us of
God’s power to redeem.
Let us pray for miracles
For all to see
As in the days of old.

Woe to our hearts
That these miracles are incomplete,
That our soldiers still fight and die,
Kill and are killed,
For this land and this nation.

Woe to our hearts
That these miracles are unfinished,
That hostages still languish in captivity
As the pawns and trophies of heartless terror.

God of miracles,
Ancient and new,
We do not wait for signs and wonders.
We take this as our sacred task,
Defending our nation.
Still we yearn for Your mighty hand
And outstretched arm
To bring us blessings
Hidden or revealed.

על הניסים ועל הפרקן ועל הגבורות ועל התשועות ועל המלחמות הנסתרות והנגלות, שנעשו, שנעשות, שיעשו איתנו בכל עת ועת, בימים האלה ובזמן הזה

We thank You for the miracles, the redemption, the heroics, the blessings, and the victories hidden and revealed, that You did, are doing, and will do for us in every age, in these days and at this season.

Al hanissim v’al hapurkan v’al hagvurot v’al hat’shuot v’al hamilhamot hanistarot v’haniglot she’nasu, she’naasot she’yi’asu eitanu b’col et va’et bayamim ha’eleh u’vazman hazeh.

© 2023 Alden Solovy and ToBendLight

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

Postscript: I learned about nissim nistarim at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies learning with Rabbi Michael Hattin. A version of Al Hanisim is also added to the Amidah and the Grace after Meals during Purim. Thanks to my friends Haim Watzman and Miriam Fine for their comments on earlier drafts.

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 Source: Alden Solovy

Guest Writers: 7th Graders at Temple Beth Jacob

Posted on: February 8th, 2018 by Alden No Comments

Inspired by my Six-Word Prayer Facebook community, Rabbi Robin Nafshi, Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, NH, asked the 7th graders to sum up three Jewish prayers in six words: Maariv Aravim, Ahavat Olam and Mi Chamocha. Each student wrote a six-word prayer. The class put them together to make three eight-line, six-word prayers. The activity was part of a project creating art for a Shabbat Service. Here are those prayers, written by Alex, Anna, Emily, Judah, Julia, Rachel, Sam and Sammi. This post is part of a new addition here: occasionally featuring guest writers.

Ma-ariv Aravim
Ruler of all, Creator of life
You created Day, night, light, darkness
Earth is now whole, thank You
Thanks for giving light in darkness
Sky and night, light the way
You created us all, so thanks
Change is always happening to us
Thanks God for seasons and days

Ahavat Olam
We always love family and friends
I love God for everything done
We love You, You love us
You protect Israel and teach us
Thanks for Torah, thanks for Love
One God loves us through Torah
Everlasting love learned in the Torah
Torah teaches us, yet I wonder

Mi Chamocha
You saved us, gave us peace
You’ve saved us, we are thankful
The sea splitting, saving the people
God saved us, we thank You
Thanks for helping us leave Egypt
God’s glory is shown to children
Creation is everything, God is one
You saved us, and are one

Prayers are © 2018 Temple Beth Jacob, Concord, NH

Hello! New here? Want more? Subscribe here to receive my newest prayers by email. 

Postscript: I’ve begun offering workshops for adults and teens using six-word prayers as a teaching tool. Here’s an article on Six-Word Prayers by my friend and Eli talks companion, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer. And here, again, is a link to the Six-Word Prayer Facebook community. Read the prayer of my first Guest Writer, Eliza Scheffler, also an HUC-JIR student, by clicking here.

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: Alden Solovy and imageflip.com

Cry, No More

Posted on: September 26th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

4give yoselfThis prayer is about having compassion for ourselves while repairing the damage we’ve done to self and others. I wrote it after my first Yom Kippur in Jerusalem, my first in Israel as an oleh chadash. I use it on Yom Kippur and during the Counting the Omer, day 10, “compassion in discipline.” It appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Cry, No More
Cry no more for the sins of the past.
Rejoice in your repentance and your return.
For this is the day that G-d made
To lift you up from your sorrow and shame,
To deliver you to the gates of righteousness.

Remember this:
Love is the crown of your life
And wisdom the rock on which you stand.
Charity is your staff
And justice your shield.
Your deeds declare your kindness
And your works declare your devotion.

Cry no more for your fears and your dread.
Rejoice in your blessings and your healing.
For this is the day that G-d made
To raise your countenance and hope,
To deliver you to the gates of holiness.

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

Postscript: “This is the day that G-d made” (Psalms 118:24) is used in our liturgy, including the service of praises, Hallel. Here are links to prayers for Elul, prayers for Rosh Hashana, prayers for Yom Kippur and prayers for Sukkot. Here’s a link to yizkor and memorial prayers.

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: Gospel Newsroom

Awake You Slumberers!

Posted on: September 22nd, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

“Awake, ye sleepers from your slumber, and rouse you from you from your lethargy. Scrutinize your deeds and return in repentance.”רמב”ם

Are you awake? Are you listening? Are you fully present in this moment? Are you fully present in your life? Are you fully present in G-d’s world? When you hear the call of the Shofar on Yom Kippur, when the great Tekiah sounds, will you be ready to rise up and live a life in service to G-d’s holy word?

Here are links to five meditations about waking up to some of G-d’s gifts – truth, joy, holiness, love and Torah – posted now in anticipation of Yom Kippur. They follow the same rhythm and structure: an introduction of three short stanzas; the assertion that G-d’s gifts are present in the universe; a call to reengage with purpose (“Awake you slumberers!”); a reminder of what we may have forgotten; and a call to action.

Here is a taste of “Let Joy:”

“…joy is in the dawn and the dusk,
The silence and the great expanse,
The flow of light from G-d’s grace,
Divine wonder and awe,
Calling out to you dear sisters and brothers:
‘Awake you slumberers!
Awake you who sleepwalk through…”

Are you ready to “Let Truth,” “Let Joy,” “Let Holiness,” “Let Love” and “Let Torah” guide your life? Each of these meditations is aimed at helping us back to G-d’s gifts. And each of these links also includes audio of the meditation.

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

If you like this prayer, post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or as part of a tweet. And don’t forget to click “like” on this page. Thanks. Please subscribe. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see Share the Prayer!

Meditation Before Neilah

Posted on: October 7th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

neilah art wohlThis meditation for the last service of Yom Kippur is the second prayer inspired by a song composed by my cousin Irwin Keller for Neilah called “At the Closing of the Gates.” To hear this prayer, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.

 

Meditation Before Neilah
Wait.
There is something else,
G-d of Old,
I must show You.
It’s dark
And secret.
Part sadness.
Part anger.
Part fear.

Listen.
There is something else,
G-d of Old,
I must tell You.
It’s hard
And heavy.
Part pride.
Part guilt.
Part shame.

Stay.
There is something else,
G-d of Old,
I need from You.
It’s ancient
And new.
Part Torah.
Part Mitzvot.
Part joy and love and light.

G-d of Justice,
G-d of Mercy,
Hear my plea.
Wait for me to return to You.
Listen as I confess to You.
Stay as I struggle to live my life as a blessing,
According to Your wisdom,
According to Your law,
According to Your word.

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

Postscript: To listen to Irwin’s song, as well as the first prayer it inspired, click here: “At the Gates.” 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.

Tweetable! Click here to tweet this: “Wait. There’s something else, G-d of Old, I must show You…” Powerful Neilah prayer by @ToBendLight https://tobendlight.com/?p=4268

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: Ragamuffin Studies

At the Gates

Posted on: October 6th, 2011 by tobendlight No Comments

800px-Sunset_2This prayer is about standing at the gates of heaven in prayer. It alludes to the Un’taneh Tokef which asserts that t’shuva (repentance), t’fillah (prayer) and tzdakah (charity) are key to a full reconciliation with G-d, with oneself and with the world. It was inspired by a song written by my cousin Irwin Keller for Neilah called, “At the Closing of the Gates.” This prayer is the result of listening to his song, with a few changes recommended by Irwin. To listen to his song, click on the triangle in the first bar, below. “At the Closing of the Gates,” by Irwin Keller:

 

To listen to the words of the prayer while reading, click on the triangle in the second bar. The text follows. “At the Gates,” by Alden Solovy:

 

At the Gates
At the gates of repentance
You will be asked:
Are you ready to enter?
Are you ready to live a life of t’shuva?

The gates of repentance
Surround my heart.
Unlock my fear,
G-d of Old,
So I may enter
The well of love
With wonder and awe.

At the gates of charity
You will be asked:
Are you ready to enter?
Are you ready to live a life of tzdakah?

The gates of charity
Surround my deeds.
Unlock my fortitude,
Source and Shelter,
So I may enter
The well of healing
With righteousness and strength.

At the gates of devotion
You will be asked:
Are you ready to enter?
Are you ready to live a life of t’fillah?

The gates of devotion
Surround my spirit.
Unlock my faith,
Rock of Israel,
So I may enter
The well of mystery
With prayer and rejoicing.

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

Postscript: 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: Wikimedia Commons

“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